An Advent Table: Bringing Home the Beloved

"It just occurred to me: instead of insisting that Christ be put back into "Christmas" (The Reason for the Season, et al) perhaps we should emphasise the other syllable: Let's put the Mass back into Christmas.... For this lovely season they need both the Blessed Mother and the M-- word. "That all may be one...!""---Genevieve Kineke, from here

I couldnt resist qouting this, becuase Genevieve said it far more gracefully than i could have, particularly about Our Blessed Mother. It just bothers me more and more when i hear "put the Christ back in Christmas", not becuase of what that says but simply because of what it doesnt say. That silence speaks volumes and more and more it hurts something inside. Christ is absolutely central of course but dare i say He is not "everything", there is also Our Blessed Mother.

There's a qoute that some time back had really struck me, though at the moment i can't seem to find it. But the gist was that the Christ who rescued us is Our Lord, but so too is the babe He was, they are one in the same person, no one form less sacred than the other. The babe is also Christ, the babe who Mary bore, the babe who truly needed his mother...and so do we. (For a lovely personal meditaion on the Divine Infancy, please see here, and another here)

And there's more too, that feels connected somehow. That "the church" too isnt "everything", there is also hearth and home just as central if we'll let God in there. Nor is loud praise everything in faith, there is also simply recieving God in how He chooses to reveal Himself (such as in the the Eucharist, or even in the co-in-see-dances (God dancing with us) of our lives). Nor is evangelization everything, there is also contemplation just as core. I'm just more and more so tired and hurt by that which is softly feminine/receptive/subtle being discounted over and over again for what is blatent/masculine/active. Both are sacred, not the latter more so and the former less as so many seem to believe. Its just not so. Its like the God given-ness of both the direct light of the sun and the reflected light of the moon, and our need for both in our world.

This has to do with the Sonshine bearer stuff too perhaps. Those who bear the Sonshine are not themselves the light, and they definitely know that, their light is merely a reflected light. But they are still needed, still beloved. Beloved by above anyway, what is feminine seems less and less beloved down here. And somehow this just wounds more and more as time goes on. It just doesnt feel right. I am not planning a return to neo-paganism but more and more i understand why it was i turned there before, as i came from a world where its gotten so bad that some won't even admit Lady Wisdom (see Proverbs 8) is part of the sacredness of femininity (many unbelieivably say she is really simply Christ since Christ is "everything" that is sacred, the masculine bridegroom is "everything").

But Lady Wisdom (again, see
Proverbs 8) was the original bride. And where is the fulfillment of the bridegroom without his bride? I feel she is to be cherished not brushed aside as a mere sidenote. One can feel this bride-ness so deeply especially in Proverbs 8:22-36

The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Genevieve Kineke (qouted above) explores some of this in her blog from here,

"Remember the thesis of the Bride: that she was the firstborn of God, she danced with Him at creation, and was manifest in the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament..." (this bridal imagry is all straight from scripture; she explores it in more detail in her book).

And elsewhere Lady Wisdom is called the "'created co-creator", from here:

"She is brought into existence by God before the creation so as to have a role in creation. She is...herself explicitly God's creation. God made her in order to be at work at God's side in the fashioning of the universe (the harmonizer there, the phrase that comes to my mind is "a woman's touch") .... She enjoys a relation of joyful intimacy with the creator and with humans."

This is the bride. The bride whom God created before anything else for a darn good reason, which feels to be her harmonizing effect upon life and her delighting of the bridegroom's heart. The bride is not the Source, she is not the Light, but surely she is still needed to bear that light and surely she is still beloved. We don't see recieiving (as in recieving the light, bearing it, and recieving in general even) as sacred or be-love-able because we forget that feminine things like receptivity are sacred and precious. We forget that what is feminine is sacred and precious. For a world that has forgotten Our Blessed Mother, and forgotten Lady Wisdom, has surely been forgetting this.

It's funny, my foray into neo-paganism years ago led me straight to Orthodox Judaism for quite a time... for keeping Shabbat woke up such a deep longing of what i had been seeking. Shabbat is one of the few things left honored in the world where women are respected for simply being feminine and bearing the light, in this case when they light the Shabbas candles and usher that peace of God into the home (which is done in a sense all week when a woman is a good keeper-at-home, but with a different and truly special depth on Shabbat). Orthodox Judaism still moves me still a great deal for this reason, that they have preserved the treasure of Shabbat when many others have let it be forgotten. And we need it, we
all need it (see here). Just like we need the "light bearer" incarnate, Mary the Mother of God (who btw the way also kept Shabbat... as ironic as it may sound to some, keeping Shabbat really helps me feel closer to her).

And its more. I'm not the first to observe that in places where Mary is neglected eventually Christ is neglected too (thats another qoute i'll need to find/insert later as well). For how we can we truly love Christ when we ignore the Mother He loved so much? And who can love the bridegroom while snubbing the precioiusness of the bride, His beloved? Something is wrong here, and has been for a very long time. It's a wound many try and ignore but that doesnt take it away.

How i long for a remembering of the sacredness and goodness not just of the masculine but also the feminine as well. A true remembering...I dont mean an independent "goddess" but what is truly softly receptively feminine ("Adam's rib) and a true valuing of all things connected with this, a true valuing of the subtler and softer and more "nestled" things of life.

Okay, lamenting over. But i've gotta say, i meant every word...

(Image from here)

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