Consecration Renewal – Day 12

Day 12 of Consecration Preparation from 2008 (or renewal)

From “Mary, Human and Holy” (Antonio Bello)
Chapter 11: Woman of the Bread

She laid him in a manger (Lk 2:7)… In the manger, wrapped in cloths like clean towels, lay the Living Bread come down from heaven. Alongside the manger, Mary knelt as if before a tabernacle….

Mary is the bearer of bread and not merely of a spiritual sort. She too felt the human concern of putting food on the table; yes, she worked hard for material bread.

Holy Mary, you suffered like everyone who must struggle to survive. Reveal to us a sense of the misery of the poor…. Let every piece of our leftover bread call into question our trust in the current economic order, which seems to only guarantee the resources of the strongest…. The table does not lack food, but we lack the desire to share it.

When you see us groping unsatisfied around our pantries stacked with goods, have compassion on us, soothe our need for happiness, and return to place the Living Bread come down from heaven into the manger, as you did that night in Bethlehem. For only the one who eats of that bread will never hunger in eternity.

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5 Responses

  1. -..and again, Amen. Verrry sobering.

  2. “groping unsatisfied around our pantries stacked with goods” Yes. Unhappiness, yes. And yes, we can trade in our starvation of soul for other bodies’ food, leaving all of us fed.

    I’m so bled out with others’ feeding of a different type, I wish I could once again wish to share my table. I was woken before 6 on this Shane morning, but it was by his mother– phone call from the PD regarding her other. She took off to collect him, and I was up to an infant’s second feeding while making Shane-toast for a boy with a stomachache before I tweaked out at the ridiculousness of it all. How does one say a holy yes to that which should be no? The drain is so consistent of late, I’ve not bothered to call the new woman running the soup kitchen. I could slip away from it, now.. Yes, I could get away from the one thing I do for the poor. I feel tried by fire this past decade, but I know that it’s far far harder to be tried by stomach hunger day in and day out, even when it’s with an end in sight. That end-in-sight is not the case for millions of people, including children. Overwhelming. When I recall how some African men who can work a little some days so as to earn a little– so as to feed their loved ones a little that day, go out and swallow many warm little stones so as to fool their stomachs into thinking there’s something in them, even the soup kitchen seems too easy. Maybe even damned near dishonest. Mary, pray for all who have recourse to thee.

  3. Pia, yes – and I fully admit my own guilt in this area, re the sentence that C quoted – how many times over the course of my life have I stood in front of the cupboard or fridge a day or two before going to the market and said, “there’s nothing to eat”… when in fact it wasn’t even true, let alone experienced true ongoing need, let alone famine.

    C, I remember it was you who wrote about hoodia a few years ago on one of your blogs; it was the first time I’d ever heard of it – how the hungry in other countries would ingest it in plant-form because it eased their hunger pangs in the midst of famine, but in the western world people were ingesting it in diet-pill form to try to stop themselves from overeating. I’ve never forgotten that.

    You’ve put many, many hours into the soup-kitchen, C, during years when you were able. You’re not slipping away from the poor; need is need, wherever and however it appears, like baby-feedings and sick tummies. You’ve got a soup-kitchen and hostel, it’s just a different venue…

  4. I guess so. I’m not all that far from making pancakes without eggs and served with only Karo syrup for supper, or frying up the last of the potatoes and thus having to retain some for the next day just in case the guy at the overpriced corner store wouldn’t let me charge some cans of soup–which sent two little ones to bed crying with a remaining hunger. We literally had nothing to get up to, and lunch was so very often a 33cent can of biscuits split and covered in USDA peanut butter. I can’t say I haven’t ever again searched the couch cusions for loose change, but I can indeed say that even I stand there looking in the pantry a hundred times a week, or in the fridge a dozen times in a 4 hr period thinking, “Nooo, it’s not THAT I want”–completely forgetting the soup kitchen fellow who turned down some leftovers because he has no fridge under the railroad trestle he calls home. St. John Chrysostom said that whatever we have in excess is all but stolen from the poor. That kind of statement is something I can’t ignore, but I don’t know what else to do about it.
    Anyway, thank you.

  5. Well, apart from what we actually do to help alleviate other peoples’ hunger, and trying to become more conscious of greed, waste, overchoice, etc., I think fasting once or twice a week if health permits, as Mary has asked of us, is a very important practice to maintain, because it keeps us aware of our blessings and of others’ great needs.

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