are we chalice and ark, too?

21 Nov


November 21, 2013

I started my retreat this morning looking out the window of a hotel in Indianapolis, as I prayed the day’s first parts of the Liturgy of the Hours (the Divine Office, the breviary): Morning Prayer and Office of Readings. I had slept in Indianapolis, because St. Meinrad Abbey did not have a room for me last night. Between the [brackets] are inklings, nudges and curiosities that stirred in me as I prayed or read:

Forty years I endured that generation.
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger,
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

[Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, forty years ago. I wonder if this is why our country is restless: “rest” less.]

You saved me from my furious foes.
You set me above my assailants.

[Our foes, assailants, enemies are not always the human kind. They are also those repeater sins, those aggravating weaknesses and habitual faults, those continuing temptations that will not leave us alone until they have done everything they can do to defeat us or make us feel defeated.]

Even their own shepherds do not feel for them.

[I recently heard a priest, much younger than I, bemoan that the Archdiocese, asking priests to pastor 2, 3 and four parishes, has absolutely no concern for the health of priests. I must pray for him, and for my bishops.]

I took two staffs, one of which I called “Favor,” and the other, “Bonds.”

[God is always favoring us – gracing us, gifting us – and always bonding with us. We are to pray, not to get a favor from God, but to deepen our relationship with God.]

Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father’’s will, and so it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ’’s disciple than to have been his mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood. Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb him whom she would obey as her master. Mary heard God’’s word and kept it, and so she is blessed. She kept God’’s truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying his body in her womb.

[This is fascinating and haunting, but I can’t figure it out, and don’t know what to do with it – yet.]

Mary is the Chalice, Christ the Saving Blood!

[We also refer to her as the Ark of the Covenant. Are we chalice and ark, too?]

I will lavish choice portions upon the priests,
and my people shall be filled with my blessings, says the Lord.

[The Lord has certainly done so for me.]

3 Responses to “are we chalice and ark, too?”

  1. Cathy November 22, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    If Mary had not chosen to answer God’s call, she would not have been the mother of God. In my mind, answering the call was the greater of the two.

  2. Char November 22, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    I have long believed we are chalice and ark, because I bond with Jesus in the chalice and stand (like Mary did) as the ark who embraces all my family, friends and those around me!!

  3. Cathy O'Toole November 23, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    If Mary had not been a good disciple and followed God’s will, she would not have given birth to Christ. It seems to me that answering her call from God was the better part.

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