Consecration Renewal – Day 27

Day 27 of Consecration Preparation from 2008 (or renewal)

From “Mary, Human and Holy” (Antonio Bello)
Chapter 26: Woman of the Upper Room

Bishop Bello makes it clear in this chapter, as in previous ones, that Mary lived her life among the common people and as one of them, bartering food and goods, going with them to market, helping in the streets after summer floods, and singing ancient songs with them in the courtyards.

Yet, though she was never aloof, though she never wanted to live apart from her neighbours, Mary was certainly “aware of her supernatural destiny”:

She never built a pedestal of glory for herself, but felt the joy of living with ordinary people. She did, however, reserve an observatory at the highest level, from where she contemplated not only the ultimate meaning of her human activity, but also the immense extent of God’s kindness.

As he speaks of Mary with the apostles, waiting for the Holy Spirit, Bishop Bello reflects:

Mary appears in the upper room, almost as if to indicate the spiritual levels at which the existence of every Christian should unfold. Mary’s whole life developed, as it were, at a high altitude.

People may know from different posts at “Contemplative Haven” that I am fascinated with time and space, and Bishop Bello introduces me here to some new thoughts on time and space in connection with Mary:

  • Time:  From the height of the Magnificat she cast her gaze to the farthest limits of time:  “from now on all generations will call me blessed” (Lk 1:48).  Perceiving that God’s mercy stretches “from generation to generation,” she provides the most insightful reading known of the history of salvation.
  • Space:  From the altar of Golgotha she cast her gaze to the far limits of space.  Clasping the world in a single embrace, she offers us the surest guarantee that the Spirit, sent forth by the last breath of the dying Christ, will reach all the corners of the earth now seen by her maternal eyes.

  • Holy Mary, woman of the upper room… Give the Church the elation of the heights, the measure of long times, the logic of comprehensive judgments. Give her your farsightedness. Let her look upon history from the observation posts of the kingdom. For only if she can train her eye from the highest observation point, where the panoramas spread the farthest, can she assist the Spirit in renewing the face of the earth.


3 Responses

  1. Mary did exactly what St John of the Cross advises anyone to do who receives private revealtions, locutions, messages of any sort and that is, do what needs done in keeping with the message, tell someone if that is what you feel should be done, change whatever needs changed etc; but then, and this is I think the most important part, put it out of your head and get back to scrubbing floors if that’s what you do!Exactly as you say Gabrielle in the intro to this post.
    No inflated ego, no airs and graces, no setting oneself apart – Mary followed this all her life as Bishop Bello writes about here.( I’m relatively new to St John of the Cross but I’m hooked – he writes with such insight and love. I’m sure I’m preaching to the converted here, Gabrielle, and others too.

  2. She is the woman for all seasons.

  3. You know, Ann, I think there is always such a fine line that we have to discern. We know from the mystics, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and many others, not to seek special experiences and that it’s best to forget them and get on with things, as you say; yet, sometimes, thankfully, they are never forgotten, and that not only gives us consolation when things are difficult in our lives, but it keeps us in a constant state of gratitude to God. So too with the sharing of mystical experiences – on the one hand discretion, humility and privacy call people to be silent about them; on the other hand, we need to share them sometimes, with discernment, so that others can know what is possible with the Lord and also to help people understand what they themselves may be experiencing and perhaps are concerned about. I think this is why it is so important to pray every day to the Holy Spirit for wisdom.

    Carol, back in Chapter 19, although I didn’t mention it in the post, Bishop Bello bemoans the fact that “Woman of Service” [or perhaps Mother of Service] ? does not appear in the Litany of Loreto. Wouldn’t it be cool if we all got together to write our own Litany for the Blessed Virgin, including “Woman for all Seasons”???

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