Saturday, February 7, 2009
Longing for Shade (Job7:1-4)
"Is not man's life on earth a drudgery? He is a slave who longs for the shade..." Certainly Job would not express these words if they were not true, if they were not in some way part of the universal human experience. Yet there is cause for hope. Our longings have been heard by our Father in Heaven. We have been given shade in the Shadow of the Tree of Life. Not only that but we have been given a companion to accompany us as we take time to rest in this shade from the drudgery of life. That is we have been given the Blessed Virgin Mary who stands at the foot of the Cross. Blessed Mother stands in the shadow of death, but the Cross has been revealed as the Tree of Life, and thus our Mother stands in its shade and invites us to join her in our misery. In order to embrace the life that our Lord calls us to live, we must be prepared to return often with Blessed Mother to the Shade of the Tree of Life. The reason for this is at the foot of the Cross is where we come to know our true identity. In gazing upon Christ Crucified we can come to know our dignity, our goodness, our privilege because we come to know the Love of the Most Holy Trinity. Blessed Mother is there with us to teach us about the Love of God. Our Mother also helps us to understand the dignity that we have as children of the Most High God. Mary is the teacher extraordinaire because what flows from the foot of the Cross is Humility and she who is full of Grace is equally full of Humility. Humility is the first lesson that Blessed Mother wants to teach us, and it is found in simplicity. How then in a very concrete way do we begin to enjoy the Shade of the Tree of Life and our Mother's instruction? Pray the Rosary. Even better pray the Rosary simply before the Blessed Sacrament. Our lives certainly do seem a drudgery at times and we are filled with misery, but the Shade is always available. The Rosary is not a duty that we must pray. Instead it is a rest from our daily labors when our Mother holds our hand and tells us not to worry. When our Mother comforts us and refreshes us with firmer faith and greater hope in the Mercy of her Son Jesus. Mary teaches us to accept the Love that our Father has for us, and to open our hearts to her Spouse the Holy Spirit. Blessed Mother teaches us to Trust in our Merciful Triune God whose Love for us is revealed in the Cross. Mary teaches us the joy that comes from humble acceptance of God's Love. In praying the Rosary with Blessed Mother we find rest for our weary souls and strength to continue the journey. Often times people worry about how to say the Rosary and if they are saying it correctly or not. Do not worry. The Rosary has been given to us as a comfort not a task. Why would you be anxious if you are holding the Blessed Mother's hand. Don't Be! She will teach you how to pray, and some day you will learn the traditional way the Church prays the Rosary. But most importantly know that when you pray the Rosary, even if you are in great turmoil and suffering, Mary our Mother is with you to comfort you. Trust in her love and motherly protection. Come into the Shade and stand with your Blessed Mother and learn from her about the great Love God has for you. Blessed Mother will show you how your longings can be and in fact are satisfied in the Blood and Water (the Sacramental Life) that flowed from the pierced side of Jesus her Son our Savior. Blessed Mother will show you what great Joy our Father in Heaven takes in calling you His son or daughter. Blessed Mother will show you how to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit her Divine Spouse. Simply come into the Shade. Pick up your Rosary and pray. In doing so you will be amazed at how loved you truly are as you enter into a deep and profound intimacy with the Most Holy Trinity; there you will find rest.