Consecration Renewal – Day 29

Day 29 of Consecration Preparation from 2008 (or renewal)

From “Mary, Human and Holy” (Antonio Bello)
Chapter 28: Elegant Woman

Although the Book of Revelation portrays Mary as being clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and wearing a crown of twelve stars, and also wearing “fine linen, bright and pure”, Bishop Bello writes that Mary’s earthly elegance flowed from her “interior refinement”.

In the previous chapter we spoke of Mary’s beauty, both spiritual and physical, and we often link beauty with elegance. In her earthly life Mary did not wear elegant clothing or expensive jewels, yet I think of her elegance as manifesting itself externally in her calmness, her gentleness, her tone of voice and patience, and the contemplative manner in which she performed her daily tasks.

Just as we saw in the previous chapter that Mary’s physical beauty was linked to the beauty of God’s creation and was a means of drawing people to the knowledge of God, so too we see in this chapter that Bishop Bello must have had the same line of thought as he reflected on her elegance:

Perhaps in the intimacy of their home, Jesus might have enjoyed bestowing on his mother the names of the most perfumed plants, as the Church would come to do: rose of Sharon, lily of the valley, cedar of Lebanon, palm of Kadesh…. Perhaps Jesus was thinking specifically of her, the flower of beauty, when he said to the crowd: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these” (Mt 6:28-29).

Holy Mary, elegant woman, give us your apparel, acquaint us with your tastes. You know well that we are referring to those interior “garments” which adorned your earthly existence: gratitude, simplicity, kind words, transparency, tenderness, and wonder….

Help us discover in the splendor of nature and art the signs of God’s elegance.


2 Responses

  1. People have mused the same about Jesus’ earthly countenance. I think for both Jesus and Mary it was the innocence showing up on their faces. Also, they’d have Both been hard workers as well as fast-ers, hence, slim with bone and muscle definition. And my mostly sinless mother was mostly wrinkleless. After a while in the nursing home, old folks would amaze me with their great age –they would honestly look decades younger than in their last photos at home, perhaps a result of no longer being in the world (no occasion of deadly sins, no or less overwhelming memory of them) as well as less stress and worry. And I guess it was Mary whom I *saw* once as I sat before a worn statue of her, though I’d thought maybe I was seeing Faustina, in beautiful dove gray habit with white around her head, bent in sorrow. What was visible of her face was indeed something one would call beautiful. And of course, my mother’s dream of Jesus left her saying only one thing (after she delivered His message to her Carol) which was 100% unusual for such a talker as herself: “He was so beautiful.” She struggled for some other word, but said “beautiful” again. And He took His flesh from His mother, so they would have been similarly beautiful, surely.

  2. “I think for both Jesus and Mary it was the innocence showing up on their faces.”

    I think so too, and the grace shining through.

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