Friday, December 12, 2008
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the celebration of the Virgin Mary's appearance to Juan Diego, a humble Indian of Mexican descent in 1531 to assure him of her "love, compassion, help, and protection to all who inhavit this land and to those others who love me."
What a delight this reading was, especially when learning that Juan Diego, sent to fetch a priest for his dying uncle "went around the hill and passed on the other side . . . so as to arrive quickly in Mexico City and to avoid being detained by the Heavenly Lady."
Like Juan avoiding the Lady, we too have at times gone out of our way to avoid meeting God. Like Mary to Juan Diego, God does not remonstrate or accuse or punish but rather assures us of love, compassion and help.
Like Mary, God comes to meet us at the place where we have gone to avoid him. Like Mary to Juan who went to meet him on the other side of the hill, God says to us "Are you not under my protection ... are you not in my care?"
Thursday, December 4, 2008
While reciting the morning liturgy of Lauds this morning with my husband, I suddenly became aware that we were praying not as a unit of 2 but as one small note within a symphony of prayer rising from monasteries, cloisters, churches, homes, beaches, forests, and farms -- at every moment, somewhere in the world others are praying the same psalms and reading the same lessons and praying the same invocations with us. What a glorious, comforting, and hopeful thought.
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- Beryl Singleton Bissell
- Beryl is the author of The Scent of God: A Memoir published by Counterpoint NY in 2006 and A View of the Lake published by Lake Superior Port Cities Inc. in 2001. She’s been living on Lake Superior for seventeen wonderful years, and spent 10 years writing two popular columns for the Cook County News Herald: Newcomer Notes and Putting Down Roots. Beryl is past president of the Schroeder Area Historical Society and a long-time chair of its Oral History and Marketing committees. She is a past board member of the Violence Prevention Center in Grand Marais and committee member for the Grand Marais Art Colony’s first ever annual North Shore Reader and Writers Festival. She’s been published in the Sun Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, Lake Superior Magazine, and The Trenton Times and in the anthologies, Surviving Ophelia published by Perseus Publications in 2001 and The New Writer's Handbook, Vol. 2, published by Scarletta Press in 2008 and was named Best of Minnesota Writers by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She is currently working on her third memoir: the sequel to The Scent of God.