Holy Embrace

Simeon and Jesus, detail of Presentation, Fra Angelico 1433-34

see Christmas 1 (year B)

When we have Christmastime at the monastery (as we did this year) I love to rise early on Christmas Day and go to the creche and hold the baby Jesus in my arms. Sometimes I dance with him, like John of the Cross did so many years ago. But yesterday I just held him, kissed him, and sang to him softly while I sat on the floor against the hay. I’m not worshiping the block of wood, of course, but Something beyond, Something behind that piece of folk art from the ’60’s. Something resonating deep within usually inaccessible places in my soul. Something responding to my love. Something loving me to which I respond in this foolish manner.  And once again, I know I have seen my salvation.

While exploring images of The Presentation I found one in which the baby leans toward Simeon’s arms rather than shrink away from them (which is the usual template). So, for your meditation, here are two paintings of intimacy in which the Holy leans toward Simeon, longing for his (our) embrace as much as he(we) long for the Holy…

The Presentation, Unknown Illustrator of Petrus Comestor's Bible Historiale, 1372

2 Responses to “Holy Embrace”

  1. Robert Sevensky Says:

    Oh, Suzanne, This is so achingly beautiful. Maybe some day I will have the grace and courage to do this. Maybe tonight….

    Merry Christmas…and thank you and Bill and the sisters for making our Christmas so rich, so wonder-filled, wonderful.

    Robert OHC

  2. claire Says:

    What a beautiful post and reflection! I will spend time with it…

    Thank you for sharing with us your precious Christmas morning meditation.

    (Once in the Cathedral of Zaragoza, many years ago, I prayed in a chapel with a Pieta. I felt then that Mary asked me to hold her Son for a while. Which I did. What a gift these moments are.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: