Sunday, February 08, 2009

This is one of the most tender and sweet images of Mary, Mother of God that I have ever seen. Such large, deep, penetrating eyes our Lady has...that look right into our souls, imploring us to "come to Jesus" who extends his right arm and hand in blessing us. As an Infant, a Child and a Man, we can draw near to Him who beckons us. We can come to Him the same way He chooses to come to us, as that Holy Child or that Gentle Teacher, Shepherd, the God/Man. He's all things to all people in all of our needs, He's there, as is His Mother.

She's also ready to meet us, as our Mother, too, and to let us scramble upon her lap, or stand before her, sinful and sorrowful, a Memorare flowing from our lips, for our own intentions, or to simply sit next to her, leaning our head upon her heart as she wraps her mantle around us to shield us from all fear. We can only come in humility, truly as little children, with all trust, humbling ourselves in His Presence, and asking Our Mother to hold us, as she held her Son so maternally with such tender love.

Let this image bless you. All icons are prayers and reveal to us everything we need as we gaze upon them, for they are "birthed" in much prayer, and they can absorb us into the prayer of the artist, and in a special way we can become "one" in prayer ascending to the nostrils of our Lord as a sweet and precious perfume.

O, Mary, please do hold us in your arms, and grace us with all of your Motherly graces, keeping us focused on Jesus, now and forever. Amen.

The icon was discovered in 1579 in Kazan, central Russia, in the ashes of a destroyed house, wrapped in cloth after a young girl saw the Mother of God repeatedly in her dreams telling her where it was buried. The icon was with soldiers freeing Moscow in 1612 and with troops fighting Napoleon in 1812. One of the oldest originals is now kept in the Marian Shrine of Fatima, Portugal

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