Tuesday, 8 December 2009
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Today the church celebrates the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Having, until fairly recently, been standing on the other side of the theological fence, I feel sensitive to the ickiness, perplexity and even downright offence that this teaching provokes.
When I was 'away from the church' I never felt repulsed by the Marian doctrines, as I know some are. I was just completely disinterested in them. They seemed odd and irrelevant. How could we possibly know? Why did it matter?
Today I still feel surprised by how different the view looks from this new perspective.
Reflecting on my new acceptance of the authority of the church to teach ( something I have come to understand as being entirely scriptural and related to our trust in the competence of the Holy Spirit to guide the Church into all truth ) the dogma of the Immaculate Conception now seems to me to be a part of the seamless theological garment which, rather than deifying Mary ( which is how it appears to some of my protestant friends) in fact upholds and emphasises the deity of Christ.
I've been thinking about Moses, who was instructed to remove his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. And about Uzzah, whose unfortunate fate underlined the undefilable holiness of the ark of the covenant.
Anyway, while my mind is turning on these things, I'm planning to listen to this talk tonight.
The speaker is Professor Lawrence Feingold of the Association of Hebrew Catholics and his lecture is on Mary’s Immaculate Conception and her role as the New Eve . He sounds suitably boffinaceous for bedtime listening.
On a more practical note, I've been thinking about how on earth those mummy bloggers who post delightful pictures of liturgically themed teas and arts and crafts do it. Do they have an army of domestic staff in the background doing the washing up and wiping bottoms?
I went to mass this morning with the children and we stayed for 10 minutes afterwards for adoration. The children were uncharacteristically quiet and biddable. Marie-Aibhlinn slept in the sling and Honor and Colmcille knelt in an attitude of picture postcard piety before the Blessed Sacrament.
Rather than maximising this little heavenly opportunity for personal contemplative prayer, I spent the ten minutes being fascinated by the childrens behaviour and wondering how long it would last. After ten minutes I figured any longer would be pushing my luck so we left while the going was good.
When we came home we made some spiced biscuit dough, and a banana cake in honour of the feast day. The biscuits never actually got baked, but the dough is sitting in the fridge so we'll get round to that over the next few days. This colouring page is still in the works.
While we made eggy, floury messes in the kitchen, we listened to this:
Because of all the baking ( which, owing to all the 'help' I have in the kitchen, always takes far longer than I ever imagine it will) supper was yesterdays leftover bolognese. None of the planned read alouds got read. Apart from a little handwriting practice and ten minutes German ( thank you Rosetta Stone) we didn't get any of the other planned home ed stuff done.
Even the laundry didn't happen until this evening after Honor went to bed. I'd love to watch a video play back of my day, because I want to see how it is possible to move around so much, and get so little actually done. I must be being uneconomical with my time somewhere. Perhaps I do need one of those home management binders that I keep reading about?