Tonight was our annual “Bethlehem Walk,” (I know this isn’t the best picture), but the experience was so sweet. In years past it’s just been the older boys and me, but this time Daddy and the littles joined in. We bundled up and went out for an evening stroll with our trusty lantern. The aim is to step away from the noise and lights of the world, and quietly contemplate the footsteps of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I love the questions the kids ask along the way (did they catch fish? What kind of food did they eat? How/where did they find water, etc)? This year I wanted to do some research before we headed out, and in doing so, I found some wonderful resources I wanted to share with you. This blog offers some context about their journey and the customs of the time. I would like to go back and read it again!
There’s also a very in-depth account of the journey, birth, and much more as told by mystic Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (also a source that Mel Gibson used when making The Passion of the Christ). Here’s a snippet about actual moment Christ was born:
“I saw Mary raised a certain height from the ground; she had her hands crossed upon her breast. The light kept increasing around her; everything seemed to feel a joyful emotion, even things inanimate. The rock which formed the floor and the wall of the grotto were, as it were, alive with light. But soon I saw no more of the roof; a luminous path, whose bright ness continually increased, went from Mary to the highest heaven. Then was there a marvellous movement of the celestial glories, which, approaching nearer and nearer, appeared distinctly under the form of the angelic choirs. The Blessed Virgin, raised from the earth in her ecstasy, prayed and turned her eyes to her God, of whom she had become the mother, and who, a feeble new-born infant, was lying on the ground before her.
I saw Our Saviour like a little shining infant, whose brilliance eclipsed all the surrounding splendour, lying upon the rug before the knees of the Blessed Virgin. He seemed to me very small, and to grow larger before my eyes; but this was only the radiance of a light so dazzling that I can scarcely say how I could see it.”
Wow! It’s pretty deep (and long) reading, but definitely rich in imagery and beauty! You can find the full text, here.
So far, Advent is zipping by (as usual) but I’m grateful to be home with the family. This is the first Christmas since I’ve been a mom that I haven’t worked. Looking back now, I don’t know how I ever did it!:) And at the moment it’s been a tremendous blessing to be home full-time, but also have the opportunity to “work,” through speaking engagements and little events here and there. Speaking of which, I’m still floating from Sunday when I had the opportunity to speak at St Michael’s Church in Cleveland. It was just SO NICE to connect with people again and see some listeners and meet new friends too. My Mom and my priest, Fr. Jay (and by handsome boys) were also there for moral support!