A Shabbas Table: Our Blessed Mother and A Blessed Advent

Good Shabbas everyone, and Blessed Sabbath!

And not just any Sabbath, but the Sabbath that starts Advent....yipee! The "eve before" traditionally begins the feastday (think of Christmas Eve for example), and that's tonight. This is one very special Shabbat and Sabbath.

Some reflections tonight...I've really been getting into this
"Sonshine bearer" stuff lately , its kind of a natural extension of the draw to the angel in the home i think, but more universal. And i've been thinking on this universalness the past couple days, especially the universalness we have in a feminine role model for towards bearing Sonshine, Our Mother Mary. Truly, whatever stage of life we are in, whatever situation, she offers us a truly guiding feminine model to hold onto. Some thoughts there...

Blog friend Carol of Chez Moi had this to say so beautifully (from a previous comment):

Thinking about Advent and Christmas and Mary triggered off a memory of a Christmas Eve, 15 years ago. I was 8 months pregnant with my 3rd son,my other two were 18months and 3 years old. We lived right around the corner from a little church and had walked to its Christmas Eve candlelight service. I remember singing "Away in a Manger" in the darken church, holding candles, my little ones just entranced by all of the candles. I was as entranced by the thought of Mary, herself. I could so identify with her. We were so young, so poor, I was SO pregnant, LOL! we walked home in the dark and the snow. 15 years later and I'm struggling with the idea of my eldest son leaving home in the fall to attend college. Again, its Mary that I can identify with. She had to give up her Son in such an unimaginable way.--Carol of Chez Moi

And Mrs Pea of Our Very Own Little House says this in a favorite qoute from some time back:

As I read this morning, my weariness lifted and I was able to think of (Our Blessed Mother) as a mother and a wife, like me, but holy and radiant. Even when she was weak or weary, even when she endured what no mother should... she obeyed the Lord and kept her eyes on Him, serving, loving and trusting. Just, walking in our Mother's footsteps made my day so easy...so cheerful, so peaceful, so dilligent...Yes, I do feel tired, but more than that I feel happy....I am thrilled to my marrow to realise that I have a "Titus 2 woman" I can look up to and emulate in every particular, not holding back my trust and love, not needing to test the fruit of her life or weigh up her words and deeds - she is a beloved and true friend and mother. I pray the Lord will bless me and help me to be more like her every day.--
Mrs Pea

I was also struck by this from Genevieve Kineke in the Authentic Catholic Woman:

Mary is the first fruit and the most perfect image of the Church. Truly, she is the pilgrim who walks before us, the perfect follower of Christ and the model of faith we should all revere. But more specifically she is the archetype of the bride and mother who teaches all women how to live authentic femininity. From her acceptance of God's plan at the Annunciation to her Assumpion, she exemplified receptiviy to the Father in a way that was life-giving and grace-filled for her and all who knew her.

In a communion of Persons, as she was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, she conceived the Man-God, and the eternal Word took flesh in a way that would have been impossible without her feminine cooperation. How could God "pitch His tent among us" without her immaculate womb, and how could God's fatherhood beome manifest without her motherhood? The Incarnation will remain a mystery but its spousal reality gives us an insight into the ways of the universe....

(Mary's ) Queenship is a feminine thing, a motherly honor and a boast for all women, for it is by her womanhood that God could reach mankind and bridge heaven and earth.
-- Genevieve Kineke in the Authentic Catholic Woman:

Thats a model for all of us... the Marthas, the Marys, those who long to be above rubies in the Proverbs 31 vein and those who long to be above rubies in the Proverbs 8 vien, all of us. The daughters, the sisters, the orphans, the widows, the wives, the mothers, the matrons, all of us, simply as women, have a true feminine model in Our Blessed Mother that unifies us in a common path of feminine follower and spiritual bride. Pretty cool huh? : )

As i was pondering this stuff there was a surprise last night at dusk, a co-in-see-dance as i was walking along a harbor with my finace. He is just amazing to be in nature with, notices things others would miss, and deeply knowledgeable. I was drawn to a trio of ducks on the water right next to us and he said it was unusual, unusual because there were two species of duck there together as a family (two Mallard drakes and one Blue Bill hen). And it just really kind of struck me as an echo of this universalness theme. Just left me with a good feeling. Then on the way home i saw my fist holiday lights of the season, and they just happened to be on a house that had a vigil like nativity star outline in lights (rather than an early Christmas already here type scene), it moved me seeing it. All in all, it all turned out to be a wonderful way to begin Advent. Speaking of which...

A Very Blessed Advent to all
(and to all a good night, hehe)

Good Shabbas Everyone,
And Blessed Shabbat : )

(Image is Advent by R
oger Hutchison, from here)
Added later:

The image above is one i just found today, and i keep finding myself going back to it. The thing is it reminds me of Advent and Shabbat BOTH. And i keep thinking of the similaries, the joyful expectation of each, the longing for the light, be it symbolized by the star or by the Shabbas candles, its that longing for the light of God (or for the Bridegroom to use that sacred spousal imagry, which i just love), made more tangible.

The artist of the image qoutes a classic Carol for this feeling, a song both of longing and vulnerability and hope...

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

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