The Twelve Days of Christmas

I'm taking a few days off after Christmas and my regular prayer posts will resume on Monday, December 31.  

Here are the first two installments of posts for the Twelve Days of Christmas which begin on Christmas Day.  (This series has nothing to do with partridges in pear trees!)   Yesterday, December 25, was a little busy and I didn't get to posting this first installment on time; the second follows below.

The First of the Twelve Days of Christmas: December 25

The Twelve Days begin on Christmas Day and end on January 5, the day before the traditional date for Epiphany.

On these 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany, we'll look at some images of Mary and Joseph and Jesus. Today's is the work of Canadian sculptor, Timothy P. Schmaltz and it is titled, simply, Warmth.

The folds of Mary's garment make a shelter in which she and her child huddle. Prayer is like that: a shelter for huddling with the Lord...

It's not difficult to imagine Mary cuddling her son just as imaged here. What a gift to be able share the warmth of one's body with the one whose heart would burn with love for all his brothers and sisters.  And of course, as Christ's sisters and brothers, we know Mary as our Mother and pray for a place within that loving and protecting mantle.

The Christmas season is a good time to remember how God, like a mother, holds each of us to the breast, warming and shaping us to the contours of those divine arms that treasure and hold us safe in love...

The Second of the Twelve Days of Christmas: December 26

The Twelve Days begin on Christmas Day and end on January 5, the day before the traditional date for Epiphany.

Although St. Joseph quietly fades from the gospel narrative by the end of Luke's second chapter, we know that he was present through Jesus' 12th year (Luke 2:41-52)

We might ponder how Joseph experienced those early years in Jesus' life.  Timothy P. Schultz is a contemporary Canadian sculptor, a father himself. Perhaps that's why his art so often puts Jesus in Joseph's embrace. Timothy's work above, A Quiet Moment, portrays Joseph's larger-than-life love for his wife and foster son...

Joseph, you were called to a great love and a deep trust
in God's plan for your and your wife, Mary.

You responded with a love greater than most can imagine,
a trust deeper than most can dream.

Teach us, Joseph, to love even when we do not understand,
to trust when we do not see the purpose.

Stretch our hearts to a larger-than-life love,
enfolding of all the gifts God gives us...

Twelve Days 2012


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