Consecration Renewal – Day 13

Day 13 of Consecration Preparation from 2008 (or renewal)

From “Mary, Human and Holy” (Antonio Bello)
Chapter 12: Emigrant Woman

I think Bishop Bello could also have called this chapter, “Woman of the Borders”. This is another powerful chapter, and in a few short pages Bishop Bello offers many truths about Mary that I have never heard stated before in quite the same way as he does.

He speaks of the flight into Egypt: “Like any emigrant, she had to undergo the tribulations that affect those forced to leave their homeland. She had to cross the border not to seek employment but to find political asylum… We can imagine Mary, fearful yet courageous, standing at the watershed of two diverse cultures. That image is a powerful icon today for anyone who must adjust to new customs and new languages.”

He writes of Pentecost, when Mary was again an “emigrant woman”, on the border between the old and the newborn Church; he mentions that according to tradition, she may also have physically crossed borders again, perhaps ending her days in Ephesus, but more importantly Mary was spiritually on many borders, because she became the mother of all peoples, of all nations…

Here is the one that really hit me for the first time: Bishop Bello talks of Mary as being on the border between the old and new covenants – and beautifully states that she was “poised not to separate but to join different worlds that confront each other.”

And the most beautiful of all:

In a still more powerful moment, Mary stands out, in all her symbolic grandeur, as an emigrant woman: the moment of the cross. That wood not only smashed the walls of separation dividing Jews from Gentiles, making the two into one people (cf. Eph 2:14), but also reconciled the human race with God in the one flesh of Christ. The cross represents the final line of demarcation between heaven and earth, the open border between time and eternity. Over this supreme border, human history enters into the divine story of salvation. Mary stood at that border and bathed it with her tears.

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14 Responses

  1. All beautiful images of Mary. It’s a pity so many think themselves excluded and don’t approach the open border where Mary waits so as to lead us prayerfully to her Son.

  2. Ann, I think that for one to think of himself as excluded, there needs to be an exclud-er..

    Gabrielle, Bishop Bello always has a fresh view of things…there are so many pearls I’d love to share with you all. I agree that the choice of the translator is not the best one…but it’s always better than “the smell of the people”… 😉

  3. Yes, Pia, – and he never has an idle moment.

  4. Much to the dismay of many…

  5. It strikes me that, like in deMontfort’s books, there is too little Jesus in this book. (There’s also too little Joseph—there is much she could not have done without his cloak, staff, and arm, which the Father well knew.) I must admit that I worry about my lack of devotion to her, but the best I can do honestly is think of her as Queen Mother –Queen of Christ’s Kingdom, and new Mother of mankind given us from Christ’s Cross. But here’s a couple of surprises: I find that a deeper look at her provides a deeper look into Christ’s heart. Also, He spent 30 years with her, in the house of Joseph who also raised and taught Him, and so by looking at the Jesus of the Gospels, parables, Beatitudes and new commandment, we have a deeper look at her and at Joseph, individually as well as family. This is indeed a family as well as a kingdom that we exiled orphans of Eden are to take shelter in.

  6. Ann, by those who think themselves excluded, did you mean non-Catholics, or were you thinking of something else as well?

    Pia, I agree that there is (probably a majority of the time) an excluder, but also I think other things enter into situations where there is isolation – a lack of knowledge, misunderstandings, hesitancy, and that old demon fear, on both sides.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t express myself well – I didn’t mean to imply that there was anything lacking in the translation; of course I haven’t read it in Italian because I don’t understand Italian to any degree, but personally I think the English flows beautifully. No, what I meant was, since both “emigrant” and “borders” feature prominently throughout the chapter, I just felt the titles could be interchangeable, and I was fascinated with all his “border” examples.

    C, this book is quite short (163 pages) and tiny (maybe 4 inches by 5 inches). Each little chapter is only about three to five pages long, but apart from the main theme which Bishop Bello uses in each chapter title, I’ve noticed that there are usually three or four sub-themes. He does bring in Jesus and Joseph throughout, as well as the Father, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity; we know Mary is always in relationship to these. Perhaps the little snippets I’ve been choosing have seemed too much “out of relationship” because I’ve been drawn to aspects of Mary in this book that are either new to me or written about in a much different way than I’ve read before, and so those are the things I’ve been highlighting. Also, because this is additional reading to my consecration preparation material, I’m focusing on things that are really touching me personally during my renewal.

  7. Okay. I just wanted to be honest. I’m sure there are folks who feel as I do, and I want them to hang in there nonetheless, too.

    Thanks for posting it all, G.

  8. Well, personally I do not find that the St. Louis de Montfort consecration to Jesus through Mary has too little of Jesus, but if people are following the original consecration preparation here, they will see that I posted both de Montfort’s method and the Immaculate Heart of Mary consecration as well. And I think anyone who looks through my categories will see plenty of Jesus, and the Two Hearts United, etc. on this site as a whole. But in this particular renewal (my third, but the first I have journalled) I am concentrating on what I personally wish to post from Bishop Bello’s book, as a help for myself during my renewal period. If it is not helpful for others and is not to everyone’s liking I completely understand. I certainly hope no one feels obliged to “hang in there” if they are not interested in what I am posting! There are so many beautiful Marian sites on the Internet to choose from!

  9. I was thinking of those inside the church who exclude themselves, fearful/ reluctant/ shameful, believing themselves too sinful, with sins so great.
    Yet they are the very ones Mary waits for and the ones she and her Son brought down borders for.
    The devil of course can have a hand in this, prompting souls to turn away and stay away from the very heart/ door that welcomes them.

  10. Yes indeed, Ann, and a very good point about fasting, Gab.

  11. Ann, thanks for expanding on your thoughts… What you are saying reminds me very much of Anne the lay apostle’s talks about the same thing, and she has so many beautiful suggestions of how we can be more welcoming and of how we can help ease people back into the Church. If we can speak to people about the beauty of the sacrament of Reconciliation, and help them to get past any prior bad experiences they may have had with it, if we can invite them just to come anytime they want and sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament in peace and relative privacy and silence, if we can invite them back to Mass and teach them about the beauty of spiritual Communions if they perhaps are divorced – and how much Jesus loves their offering of these spiritual Communions – even if we don’t feel we are an “excluder” per se, there is still so much for us to do to become more of a “welcomer”, isn’t there.

  12. C, now if only I can remember to do it…

  13. I left my copy of this book at home for my mom to read. I doubt she ever got around to it. Anyway, I was just looking at the don Tonino website that has each chapter of this book up as a post. I am reading it along with you Gab. There is so much food for thought..a veritable banquet. Anyway I just wanted you to know that the actual title of this chapter is “Maria, Donna di Frontiera” …frontier woman..in the sense of “woman of borders”. 🙂

  14. Maybe your Mom will be able to read it during her convalescence, Pia. That’s cool that you can read it along with me, and pretty neat also that the Italian title for the chapter agrees with what I was thinking. It’s true that this book is so rich – of course I can’t quote it all (!!!) but much of what I’m leaving out is really what is the most beautiful, flowing and poetic, isn’t it – it’s just that I’m trying to concentrate on one or two ideas or themes – yet the readers here will not get the true sense of what a beautiful writer he was.

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