Living With Mary After Christmas

Slowly, slowly, the magic of Christmas fades, but our task of nurturing new life has only begun. We move into the heart of Mary, learning with her to ponder in our hearts all that has been brought to birth within us, to cherish the memory of the wonder we have experienced.

In this poem, Jan L. Richardson reminds us of the radiant darkness, still pulsating with remembered joy:

Departure

Night has fallen again:
the star
gone,
the shepherds
departed,
the angelic voices
stilled,
the wise men
going home
some other way.
The birthing stains on the ground
will soon be covered over by the traffic of other travelers.
But on the wall of the cave
a bloodied print
the size of the hand of a man
who listened to dreams
and would not leave her,
and the animals
quiet again
but with a knowing look
in their eyes
and all around
all around
a radiant darkness.
Jan L. Richardson

This is profound mystery. For Mary. For each one of us who carries the Holy within us, seeking a place of birth. We walk the dark road, with Mary, in hope.

We walk companioned by one who knows our struggles to maintain our trust in the face of inner doubts and outer calamity. We walk with one who loves us and encourages us until we are ready to give birth to the Sacred within us.

And we seek, we require, the blessing of others as we nurture the new life being birthed within us. Here is the blessing that poet Jan L. Richardson imagines Elizabeth speaking to Mary. May we receive this blessing for the birthing of new life promised in and through us this Christmas:

In blood
be thou blessed.
In flesh
be thou blessed.
In all you choose
in all you hold
in all you gather to you
be thou blessed.
In all you release
in all you return
in all you cast from you
be thou blessed.
In all that takes form in you
be blessed
in all that comes forth from you
be blessed;
in all thy paths
be thou forever blessed.

Jan L. Richardson

Greece Paro dark chapel t2015 174

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