I’m usually pretty happy about taking down our Christmas decorations as it gets close to the Feast of the Purification, Feb. 2nd (today!). We have the large stable scene up since the beginning of December and this year, as you know, we put up our “Advent tree” at the same time. It takes up a lot of space. The decorations gather dust and after a couple of months, I begin to look at it as clutter.
Not this year…..
It seems this Christmas season has just flown by! The warmth of the twinkly lights at night will be missed, having the decorations down will leave a void.
Everything is fresh, clean….and empty. Ready for Lent.
How fast our life goes by! Here I am, a grandmother of (almost) eighteen children. My children who are still at home are growing fast and life is changing quickly! One day, Vincent and I will be empty-nesters….. (That’s a good one….we get more kids over here as the years go by!) But still, it will not be the same.
Many times throughout our married life, my husband has mentioned how fast the corn grows when corn season is here. We watch it sprout in the field as we head down our much-used gravel road. Within a very few short weeks it is a veritable wall of stalks, blocking all view of what lies beyond. It actually ruffles hubby’s feathers a little bit to see how fast it grows, reminding us both that life is very short….
Are we making a difference? Are we doing more than just “keeping the home fires burning”? When I say that, I don’t mean we have to go out of the home to make a difference, but we DO have to get out of our comfort zone, for our own families and for society around us. We don’t have to do anything extraordinary, but we need to do the ordinary things extraordinarily.
It is so wonderful to belong to Holy Mother Church, with all its depth and richness of the liturgical seasons! We are heading into the 3 weeks before Lent, soon Lent will be here. I pray we can make it a special one (it probably won’t go as fast as the Christmas season. Lent usually doesn’t). 😛
The following is a small meditation on the Purification, Feb. 2nd by Mary Reed Newland:
Mary offered what was known as “the poor woman’s offering.”
This purification of women is almost always a puzzle to modern mothers. Why were these Jewish mothers considered unclean?
To bear a child was matter for rejoicing among the Jews; it was barrenness that was the disgrace. Why should they consider the fruitful mother unclean?
None of the assurances that this was only a legal stain satisfied me until Franz Michel William’s Mary, the Mother of Jesus explained it this way: This law of purification seems strange to us in these modern times. But if we read the history of ancient peoples we find that those who lived close to nature observed certain religious practices at the time of pregnancy and childbirth.
The law of Levitical purification is to be accepted in the same sense. It was a question of a ceremonial uncleanness, not of any sin, and the offering at the end of the prescribed period signified that the person was leaving a condition in which he was conscious of his own weakness and his utter dependence on God.
But even the “ceremonial uncleanness” did not touch our Lady. Far from claiming exemption from the Law, however, she chose willingly to submit.
It was an incomparable moment. She who was conceived without sin went to the Temple for purification and bore in her arms a Child born to ransom men; offered Him to God and to His service and ransomed Him for five shekels that He might return home with them to begin the life that would end this law and the priesthood of this Temple.
Strange: as a Baby He was ransomed in obedience to the Law, yet He had come as ransom that men would be free; and as a man the price paid to Judas for His head was thirty pieces of silver, the price the Law put on the life of a slave.
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Beautiful, as always.
I have always loved the blessing of the mother after Baptism, which kind of mirrors today’s feast…..it is always special to me. And the words of the prayer and blessing are so powerful; such a reminder of what is most important. 🙂
A very Blessed last day of Christmas to you too!!!!
(I like taking stuff down tomorrow, because I want to see it one last day. 😉 )
Thank you! Right now both of my children, 1 and 3, and I are sick. It’s an awful bug and without sleep I feel like this will never end and I simply can’t survive it! The other day I read though that motherhood is a miracle… As in going through this time I realize how it is a miracle that someone as weak as me can offer myself a sacrifice for my children… And how my Faith transforms everything I go through! Your post has me peace that it’s OK that I’m sacrificing myself… That I’m doing what a mother is called to do and being cleansed by it. God bless!! And could you maybe say a prayer of healing for is??? Thank you!!
Kimberly, I will be praying for you today. I am sorry your family is sick and I know what a cross sleepless nights can be. My daughter has 6 children and the oldest is 7. Often she comes over looking exhausted and she knows she is in for another restless night (for whatever reason) and I think to myself, “How does she do it?”….forgetting for a moment that I did it myself for many years. Mothers just do it….and we get through it….and it is a beautiful thing. Pain is gain and all wonderful things are accomplished through patience and suffering! God bless you and your little family today!