Consecration Renewal – Day 16

Day 16 of Consecration Preparation from 2008 (or renewal)

From “Mary, Human and Holy” (Antonio Bello)
Chapter 15: Woman of Rest

I love this chapter; I could actually feel it in my body and my spirit. It’s not about Our Lady as a woman who rested, but as a woman who “fostered a serene atmosphere of rest”, particularly for Joseph and Jesus. We are reminded of the baby Jesus sleeping peacefully in her arms, and Bishop Bello comments on the “boundless repertoire of Christmas melodies” in the genre of the lullaby, and thinks the composers created them so as to “feel themselves cradled in her motherly arms.”

He writes of hardworking Joseph, and that “Only near a woman like Mary could a man like Joseph, accustomed to the harshness of life, rest with such serenity as to dream uninterruptedly.”  Through Mary’s influence, at night Joseph “deservedly withdrew into a bit of heaven, serene and inexpressible, filled with angels and portents.”  Bishop Bello ponders that likely Jesus learned this kindness from Mary, and expressed it to His disciples and to the crowds, as he called them often to come away and rest.

Watch over the rest of those who live alone. Lengthen the curtains of sleep, so often short and light as tissue over fruit, for the elderly. Lighten the burdens of those who cannot sleep because of pain. With the peace that comes from God, calm the restlessness of those who toss and turn all night because of remorse. Tuck in the rags of those sleeping under bridges, and warm the cardboard where the homeless take shelter from the cold sidewalk….

…make us understand that if the secret of physical rest lies in the weekly pauses or annual vacations we grant ourselves, then the secret of interior peace lies in knowing how to lose time with God.

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6 Responses

  1. Exquisite.

  2. Isn’t it? I try my best to “foster a serene atmosphere of rest”, but nobody in my family will sit still. 🙂

  3. I think we all try to do that (count to 5 before answering back to someone who is in a bad mood…be it husband or children…?) Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The translator did really have a difficult job…the tissue on fruit referred to that thin membrane between the different parts of a pomegranate- How do you translate that?? but the image it conjured up in me in English is a napkin covering a bowl of fruit, Lol.

  4. Oh, I was thinking he meant those little pieces of white paper you sometimes see on fruit in the grocery store, usually on pears… keep up your excellent translation work, Pia! 🙂 Much appreciated!

  5. We got into a brawl here, once, over peace in our home.

    “tuck in the rags of those sleeping under bridges” –that about ripped out my gut, because I know they’re really there, and that I forget about them. I’d never thought to ask Mary to go to them. I knew someone who brought blankets and chapstick to those under bridges; perhaps he asked her. Or vice versa.

  6. I thought of you, C, when I read that line too, because I know you’ve blogged in the past of the young man you and your family knew who was indeed living under the bridge.

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