“Crying, my little one, footsore and weary”
poem by Christina Rossetti
Crying, my little one, footsore and weary?
Fall asleep, pretty one, warm on my shoulder:
I must tramp on through the winter night dreary,
While the snow falls on me colder and colder.
You are my one, and I have not another;
Sleep soft, my darling, my trouble and treasure;
Sleep warm and soft in the arms of your mother,
Dreaming of pretty things, dreaming of pleasure.
O purest of creatures! sweet Mother, sweet Maid;
The one spotless womb wherein Jesus was laid.
Dark night hath come down on us, Mother, and we
Look out for thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.
Deep night hath come down on this rough-spoken world.
And the banners of darkness are boldly unfurled;
And the tempest-tossed Church – all her eyes are on thee.
They look to thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.
He gazed on thy soul, it was spotless and fair;
For the empire of sin, it had never been there;
None had e’er owned thee, dear Mother, but He,
And He blessed thy clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea.
Earth gave Him one lodging; `twas deep in thy breast,
And God found a home where the sinner finds rest;
His home and His hiding-place, both were in thee;
He was won by thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.
Oh, blissful and calm was the wonderful rest
That thou gavest thy God in thy virginal breast;
For the heaven He left He found heaven in thee,
And He shone in thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.
You’ll Find It Very Handy
When the guestmaster asked me what my spiritual practice was, I told him, “The Rosary. I’ve been saying that every day for years. I have a great devotion to Our Lady.”
“Would you like to meet her?” he asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, she’s right over there, the door at the end of the cloister.”
“You mean I could have an appointment?”
“No appointment, just go in.” I did. There she was, no mistaking it. She remained in her chair, but her eyes and face embraced me as if I were her infant. Then she spoke my name. That surprised me. Why did that surprise me, when I had been praying to her for so many years? I was speechless. She took my head to her heart.
Then after a bit she began to speak. It was reminiscing. She went back to my infancy, told me about my parents, my childhood, adolescence, then went right up to the present. But she saw it all so differently. It was a total reinterpretation of my life. Finally, she said, “Before you go, I want to give you something. It’s my Amen. You’ll find it very handy. You can use it in all sorts of situations. You can apply it to persons and memories. It will grow with use, and hopefully some day you will say the Great Amen.”
I live now in the embrace of those eyes. Daily I use her Amen. Please pray for me that some day I may dare to say the Great Amen.
‘Tales of a Magic Monastery’ Theophane the Monk
Queen of Heaven, pray for us!
Pray for us, your children,
Who entrust ourselves to you.
Pray for us so that we may never sin,
That we may love Jesus with all our hearts.
Beneath your mantle, O Mother,
We your children take refuge daily.
Gaze on us mother; watch over us.
All that we are and have,
We offer to Jesus through you.
Tach us, guide us, sustain us,
Defend us from every danger,
As you have done till now.
And after this exile,
Show us Jesus,
The Blessed Fruit of Your Womb.
Tarkovsky’s ‘Nostalghia’. The Russian director, making his first film while living exiled in Italy, pays homage to Mary as the Mother of Childbirth.