Monthly Archives: December 2012

What was she thinkin’?

This is the time of year we hear the words of Mary, we hear her say to the angel Gabriel “yes” to being the Tabernacle for God. We hear it but we don’t take it inside of ourselves, we especially have a tendency to almost gloss over her response to Elizabeth’s spirit filled joy at seeing this fifteen-year-old girl-cousin of hers who came to help her. The Magnificat that Mary poured out should be our standard of measure for this season and every season we are here on this glorious Earth.

The first line of Mary’s response is an out pouring of what it is to be full of grace. She says “My soul doth magnify the Lord”. What is she saying to us? This very young girl, living in a backwater village in the middle of nowhere in an era of Roman might and greatness? What does it mean to magnify the Lord?

First we have to know the mind and heart of the Lord. What is it that God is? God is love. Nothing in-between, nothing can alter that, nothing can change his mind, nothing can lead him away from love. He is love. Pure, simple, glorious love. So, to magnify him we need to love. Like he loves, unconditionally and with all our being.

Let’s go a bit farther with this magnify thing. A magnifying glass is clear, it is polished and clean. A pristine view of what is on the other side of it when looking through it. It is also a means of getting a deeper look into what it is held up to, a look at the smallest parts. Think of the lenses in the telescopes, the microscopes too, that allow us to see things we never could with our own eyes. So to magnify the Lord means to open up the view of the Lord, to get a deeper look into his heart of love. To be his window so to speak, his screen for the world to see his heart of love open to them.

God made us to love each other. It is truly what makes this Big Blue Marble turn, what it is that brings out God to the world. It’s love that we respond to when we help others, give to others, stand with others—be a very human human being to others. It is love that brings tears to our eyes when we see love in other people’s hearts flowing out to this world in such desperate need of love. It is love that prompts a broken-hearted father to ask for “something better to inspire us to be better” at the brutal killing of his six-year-old daughter eleven days before Christmas. It is love that made us cry for those precious children snatched away so callously by evil that day. It is love that whispers to us that it was Satan himself who strolled through that quiet school that day. It is love that tells us this is what an absence of love looks like. It is love himself that shows us the small glowing coal of hope that is still ready to flare into flame at such a horror.

When Mary said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord”, she was expressing the love God put into her heart from the moment she was conceived. He did not let any even tiny hint of sin touch her soul. She was the clearest, most pristine magnifying glass for his love to seen. She did not categorize her love, she didn’t dam up the flow over anything,—even when she stood at the foot of the cross where her son was dying. She let it flow like a river from her heart, a river fed from God’s heart that never runs dry.

We too can be a magnifying glass for God’s love. It shines from us when we love completely. When we give it to all who pass our paths in this life. It comes into its own when we give it unconditionally, not thinking of cost, or what we get out of it, or do I look OK doing this act of love? Or will anyone notice I did this nice loving thing?

And that second line of the Magnificat “my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” is her pure joy at this wondrous thing God had done. We too have wondrous things God does for us, everyday. It is in this season of Christmas with its focus on giving that we get just a glimmer of some of those wondrous gifts from God.

In my little house, in my small life I attempt to notice those small but incredible things God does for me every day. Always, the love my dogs give me, that wondrous, unconditional love they bless me with is my starting point. And I do my very best to say thank you at the moment I notice them. A quick “Thanks Lord’ is all I can do sometimes, but God loves it! To him, it is the best present he could ever get.

So, what was Mary thinkin’? She was, as always and forever she is, thinking of God. She is our celebrity to follow; she is our mentor to learn from; she is our mother who is always listening to us. Mary is what we would be without Adam and Eve’s sin.

In this Christmas season, seemingly darkened and ruined for us, remember Our Holy Mother. See her on that night in the stable where she gave us our Hope; see her as she and Joseph bring the child to the Temple and hear the words of Simeon tell of sorrows and swords in her heart and of the Light for all Nations they bring; see her on that race to Egypt with Joseph to protect her precious boy; see her and Joseph frantically looking for the teenage Christ-child lost for three days; see her at the foot of the cross as she watches the promised Messiah pour out all of himself for everyone; see her in the upper room with her heart bursting with joy once again to see her boy risen and glorious. Mary is the best of us, she is, as once was said “Mankind’s single boast”. Mary is what we all can be when we allow ourselves to be God’s magnifying glass.

May Mary’s baby shine His light in your heart this Christmas and may your magnifying glass show His love shining out to all of us!!

Merry and Blessed Christmas!!

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What was she thinkin’?

This is the time of year we hear the words of Mary, we hear her say to the angel Gabriel “yes” to being the Tabernacle for God. We hear it but we don’t take it inside of ourselves, we especially have a tendency to almost gloss over her response to Elizabeth’s spirit filled joy at seeing this fifteen-year-old girl-cousin of hers who came to help her. The Magnificat that Mary poured out should be our standard of measure for this season and every season we are here on this glorious Earth.

The first line of Mary’s response is an out pouring of what it is to be full of grace. She says “My soul doth magnify the Lord”. What is she saying to us? This very young girl, living in a backwater village in the middle of nowhere in an era of Roman might and greatness? What does it mean to magnify the Lord?

First we have to know the mind and heart of the Lord. What is it that God is? God is love. Nothing in-between, nothing can alter that, nothing can change his mind, nothing can lead him away from love. He islove. Pure, simple, glorious love. So, to magnify him we need to love. Like he loves, unconditionally and with all our being.

Let’s go a bit farther with this, this magnify thing. A magnifying glass is clear, it is polished and clean. A pristine view of what is on the other side of it when looking through it. It is also a means of getting a deeper look into what it is held up to, a look at the smallest parts. Think of the lenses in the telescopes, the microscopes too, that allow us to see things we never could with our own eyes. So to magnify the Lord means to open up the view of the Lord, to get a deeper look into his heart of love. To be his window so to speak, his screen for the world to see his heart of love open to them.

God made us to love each other. It is truly what makes this Big Blue Marble turn, what it is that brings out God to the world. It’s love that we respond to when we help others, give to others, stand with others—be a very human human being to others. It is love that brings tears to our eyes when we see love in other people’s hearts flowing out to this world in such desperate need of love. It is love that prompts a broken-hearted father to ask for “something better to inspire us to be better” at the brutal killing of his six year old daughter eleven days before Christmas. It is love that made us cry for those precious children snatched away so callously by evil that day. It is love that whispers to us that it was Satan himself who strolled through that quiet school that day. It is love that tells us this is what an absence of love looks like. It is love himself that shows us the small glowing coal of hope that is still ready to flare into flame at such a horror.

When Mary said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord”, she was expressing the love God put into her heart from the moment she was conceived. He did not let any even tiny hint of sin touch her soul. She was the clearest, most pristine magnifying glass for his love to seen. She did not categorize her love, she didn’t dam up the flow over anything, even when she stood at the foot of the cross where her son was dying. She let it flow like a river from her heart, a river fed from God’s heart that never runs dry.

We too can be a magnifying glass for God’s love. It shines from us when we love completely. When we give it to all who pass our paths in this life. It comes into its own when we give it unconditionally, not thinking of cost, or what we get out of it, or do I look OK doing this act of love? Or will anyone notice I did this nice loving thing?

And that second line of the Magnificat “my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” is her pure joy at this wondrous thing God had done. We too have wondrous things God does for us, everyday. It is in this season of Christmas with its focus on giving that we get just a glimmer of some of those wondrous gifts from God.

In my little house, in my small life I attempt to notice those small but incredible things God does for me every day. Always, the love my dogs give me, that wondrous, unconditional love they bless me with is my starting point. And I do my very best to say thank you at the moment I notice them. A quick “Thanks Lord’ is all I can do sometimes, but God loves it! To him, it is the best present he could ever get.

So, what was Mary thinkin’? She was, as always and forever she is, thinking of God. She is our celebrity to follow; she is our mentor to learn from; she is our mother who is always listening to us. Mary is what we would be without Adam and Eve’s sin.

In this Christmas season, seemingly darkened and ruined for us, remember Our Holy Mother. See her on that night in the stable where she gave us our Hope; see her as she and Joseph bring the child to the Temple and hear the words of Simeon tell of sorrows and swords in her heart and of the Light for all Nations they bring; see her on that race to Egypt with Joseph to protect her precious boy; see her and Joseph frantically looking for the teenage Christ-child lost for three days; see her at the foot of the cross as she watches the promised Messiah pour out all of himself for everyone; see her in the upper room with her heart bursting with joy once again to see her boy risen and glorious. Mary is the best of us, she is, as once was said “Mankind’s single boast”. Mary is what we all can be when we allow ourselves to be God’s magnifying glass.

May Mary’s baby shine his light in your heart this Christmas and may your magnifying glass show His love shining out to all of us!!

Merry and Blessed Christmas!!

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A Mother’s Crying Heart

My heart cries with the mothers of Sandy Hook today. There is a part of me that just cannot stop the tears that flow. My heart is sore, sorrowful and so very, very uncomprehending of those nightmare events. I cannot even attempt to fathom their pain as they face a life without their precious children. I can, in my own mother’s heart, cry with them and for them as they traverse the incredible depths of pain.

It is what we mothers do; we cry with and for others when they face the unfaceable, we reach out with our hearts first then our hands as others slog through the valleys of pain. It is what makes us women, aids us as mothers of our own children as they move through all the changes and challenges of life. It is the mystic that can make grown men stop in their tracks and just stare opened mouth at us, it is why our children still come back, still call, still say “hi Mom” on TV, still ask for recipes for foods they grew up with, still want to be able to come back to the place they grew up in and find us there just as they left us. It is the woman’s heart, the mother’s heart in us that keeps so very much of the world turning.

And now twenty of those mother’s hearts are in pieces. They have to put their babies in a box and put them in the ground. They can never hold them close and just drink into their very being the scent of new life that their little ones had around them like an angel’s aura. They have to be strong for the others who are doing the same thing all over the world, burying children. It has been said that burying your child is a parent’s worst nightmare. There is one more that lasts until the last breath a parent takes, that is the space in their soul where that lost child forever will be missed.

My Gramma Hallie lost a child. She was just two years old, just beginning to come into her own personality. She died in the 1920’s, so long ago there really isn’t more than one or two people who can remember it. But my Gramma mourned for her and missed her for her whole life; all seventy-nine years of it. When she would talk of her, not too often mind you, there was a hint of sadness surrounding her almost like a whispery wisp of a scent. It was her memorial to her Mary Bernice, the sorrow surrounding her memory. The ones lost are forever young.

I write this for the mother’s in Newton: know that your sorrow is shared, know your tears are being watered with my own. I have been praying for your children and for you since I heard of this horror. I ask that Our Lord, who loves your little ones and you, will hold you gently in his arms. May he grant you comfort, strength, perseverance and most of all memories of love from your lost ones. I saw on Facebook today, from my grown son, a drawing that showed a little girl snuggled in Jesus’ arms as he held her tight. I hope your heart you will come to see your precious ones snuggled in Jesus’ arms.

Our Lady of Sorrows, hold the mothers in your heart. Pray for their shattered hearts. And ask your son to give them peace. For Holy Mother another group of Innocents has died. May they all dance in Heaven. Amen

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December’s Light

Today has been a day of ups and downs, tears and laughter, loss and gain—you know the usual that life gives us. But it has been hardest to keep the light shining through it all. It is cold, rainy, cloudy, with the sun coming out in glorious bombardments of light. But the rain I think will win out later in the evening bringing with it the Christmas cold snap that seems to bring on the event itself.

This is not my time of year. It is too dark for me. Too cold in that darkness. My December’s of the past were always fraught with peril. Would the month be safe or would the rage in others break through and spill over onto me and those I love? Will the money really last to the end of the month and thus the year? Will I make it to the Light on Christmas Eve?

That Light of Christmas is what I grasp with every fiber of my being in these the dark months. My soul knows that the light of God’s love is there, shinning for me as a beacon in this dark time. It’s my conscious mind, especially the portion that pops out just as I begin to drift off into much-needed sleep. The one that chats and chews and worries on things that might come to be, that could be next, that surely should happen. The Busy-Brain as my cousin calls it,that just will not give up and shut up that drags my emotions up and down the roller coaster ride it locks them into on car with a strangle hold of a seatbelt. Belt is right, a belt to the solar-plexus that can make me sit bolt upright in bed panting and whimpering so as to wake up my dogs sleeping snuggled peacefully next to me.

They snuggle closer, Pepper will wriggle as close as he can get, raise his head off the comforter waiting for me to lie down again and reach out to touch him. As I settle down with my hand on his tummy he lets out a soft, long sigh that seems to say “snuggle up with me”, and I do until the BB starts again. He never leaves my side when I have a night like that, wriggling closer, sighing and turning his tummy up like an icon for me to pat. It is somewhere in the motions of that, the hearing his love sighed out to me, feeling his warm tummy offered to me that I finally fall into sleep.

In the morning, when the sun comes up again and the world is still there and none of frights of the busy-brain came to fruition; I see the Light in Pepper’s eyes, the light of love that he glows with. And I know that God’s Light is still surrounding me. I know that the Light of the Christ child is still with me. And that the sun will turn back to the Earth waiting in anticipation of its warmth.

“And the Light will shine in the darkness; and the darkness shall not put it out” John chapter 1 verse 5.

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