Follow Br Jack by Email

Monday, December 29, 2014

Anna, The Prophtess

"There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher...She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem." Lk 2: 36, 38

St Bernard of Clairvaux, in a remarkably moving and demanding sermon, begs Mary to help her sons and daughters:
Let humility be bold, Mary, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.
Reading Bernard's words always lifts my spirits. It is clear that the Saint thought of Mary as his sister, mother, and friend, someone to whom he could speak plainly and with abandon. Mary was not an historical figure, but a living, breathing companion with whom Bernard could plead and beg.

Perhaps Anna, the Prophetess, who welcomed Mary, Joseph and Jesus to the Temple, also saw Mary as a young friend with whom she could share her life and her dreams. Maybe Anna even asked Mary to help her and all the people for whom Jesus came.

Bernard's and Anna's example should embolden us. Both Mary and Jesus are meant to be accessible players in our personal and communal lives. We should never be afraid to approach them and ask for help and guidance.

Today, imagine you are one of the people in the Temple when Mary arrives to present Jesus to God. Stop her and ask for help.

What has helped you draw close to Mary and the saints?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be discreet in your comments. I will monitor the comments, and only exclude those that are patently offensive.