Monday, March 5, 2012
Lent: Joyful Mondays
The second Joyful Mystery is the Visitation. The fruit is love of neighbor.I've been pregnant six times. None of my pregnancies were exceptionally difficult. Yes, four of those pregnancies ended in miscarriage. One of the pregnancies was simultaneous with my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, I wasn't horribly sick or incapacitated. Honestly, though, never during any of my pregnancies would I really have thought to travel on a donkey many miles to visit a cousin. In Mary's time, the journey was definitely difficult, but it was the price you paid to visit relatives. That is definitely displaying a love of neighbor. Once Mary arrived -- probably exhausted, sore, and dirty -- we hear Elizabeth greet her with the famous words of the Hail Mary. Even more important, to me, is that we have anecdotal scriptural evidence that babies in the womb are more than simple "potential" humans. Elizabeth's fetus, later known as John the Baptizer, leapt in her womb the moment Mary's greeting reached the womb. Elizabeth knew this reaction was unusual. As a woman who has been pregnant to six months twice, I know that even when my husband's voice reached the womb, my babies didn't react visibly. He could occasionally tell them "kick the mama" through my abdomen and it would seem that they complied. But otherwise, the sound of his voice did nothing. A voice my unborn children had never heard would have even less of an effect. Obviously, there was something special about Mary and her unborn child. We know, through Scripture, exactly what was so special about Mary and her son, Jesus. At the time of the Visitation, all Elizabeth knew was that her young unmarried cousin was pregnant. Mary knew that the Holy Spirit had overshadowed her and she was pregnant with God's son. She also knew that her cousin Elizabeth was thought to have been barren, but the angel had informed Mary of her cousin's successful pregnancy. Elizabeth knew enough to be extremely thankful to God for her sudden success of conception. That is what people at that time did when good things happened to them. When bad things happened, they didn't curse God or say He was a watch-maker or careless God; they laid the blame on the person with bad experience. They were more than willing to accept that when bad things happened someone somewhere had screwed up. They also accepted that God was the ultimate reason for all success. The homily we had this Sunday made me think about our so-called independence. At the moment, I cannot recall the rest of the homily -- this was his parting shot
and I immediately began thinking about independence. We spend so much time trying to "do it ourselves" from the time we are infants, that it seems like weakness to rely on someone -- even someone as awesome as God. To a degree learning to do it ourselves is the only way to grow and learn. However, when it is carried too far we can easily forget that it is God who gives us what we need. When we forget our dependence on God we get things like abortion, birth control, suicide, bullying, etc. We try to do it ourselves, but we're like Rachel, my 2 year old, trying to tie her shoes. She cannot do it because she hasn't learned it yet. We will never learn what God knows, yet we persist in trying -- just like Adam and Eve in Eden. Until we accept that God is the Master and Creator of all, we are like a petulant two year old stubbornly refusing to ask for help from someone stronger. I am often guilty of this kind of independence. However, during my long illness I have found that it is when we rely on someone else that we truly learn to be strong.
at Monday, March 05, 2012
Erika's Miracle Journey Continues's Fan Box
Erika's Miracle Journey Continues on Facebook