Don’t worry, we’re not becoming The Chick Flick Catechism (not that there’s anything wrong with that), we’re just addressing the concerns of frequent commenter Xena who laments, “It always gives me the heebie-jeebies this time of year that the birth of Jesus seems to get celebrated without any references to pregnancy or childbirth.” And you know what, she’s right. Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio reminds us that “despite the cuddly image of our nativity scenes, the original Christmas was anything but cozy. A woman nine months pregnant rides 75 miles on the back of a donkey over bumpy, dusty roads so she can have her baby in a stable full of dirty, smelly animals.” Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think that’s how it was portrayed in The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Mary is given many titles as the eschatological icon of the Church: Tower of Ivory, House of Gold, Ark of the Covenant, etc. But during Advent & Christmas, maybe it’s a good time to remember some of the simpler, yet just as meaningful titles Mary held; wife, mother, widow, etc., and all of the subsequent hardships which come along with them. And just because Christian tradition holds that, due to certain Christological necessities, Mary did not suffer the pains of the actual childbirth (Summa Theologica Q35,A6 & The Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part 1: The Creed, Article III), that doesn’t mean she didn’t have to put up with some of the rest of the pleasantries of pregnancy. I think it’s safe to assume St. Joseph had to learn to give a foot massage.
Hi, EegahInc, and thanks. I think it's probably true that St. Joe learned to give foot massages. I love icons, don't get me wrong, but I often think a lot of them are missing---St. Joe teaching Jesus to read, and esp. St. Joe teaching his teenage son to use carpentry tools. Where's the icon of St. Joe and Jesus using a two-man saw?
The best comment I've seen all year about Mary (don't remember where)--what were the consequences for her of saying yes to Gabriel? Changing diapers, washing diapers, and nursing a baby.
You wouldn't be studying for the diaconate, would you?
That's me, above!
"You wouldn't be studying for the diaconate, would you?"
Now there's a scary thought, isn't it? In truth, one of our newly ordained deacons at my parish brought up the subject not long ago. (I think the first thing they make them do is go on a membership drive.) Before I consider starting that discernment process, however, I've still got some personal and practical things to work out. Maybe next decade.
Next decade? To begin a process that takes 6-8 yrs.? Right. I put you (and your family) on my prayer list. If you contact the deacon director, he might be able to put you in touch with a deacon couple who can talk about discernment/ordination while having kids at home.
Pulling out prayer on me, now that's not fair :)
Seriously, my house needs to be put a little more in order before I seriously consider taking that road. Besides, next decade is just over a year away. That's not long in Church time.
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