Friday, December 18, 2015

Bearing Christ in the ordinary

I have been reflecting the last several weeks on my call to spiritual motherhood, which made itself profoundly manifest at my profession.  The weeks following the profession have been a time of learning from Jesus, through the example of the Mother of God, what it means to be a spiritual mother.

In my search to learn more about Mary’s maternity, I was led to pick up a book called The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander, which has been teaching me much about Mary’s example of motherhood.  I was pondering Mary’s pregnancy and how we are all called, nuns in particular, to be pregnant with God.  We are called to bear Christ to the world, not through extraordinary means, but through the ordinariness of everyday life.
      “Yes, it certainly seemed that God wanted to give the world the impression that it is ordinary for Him to be born of a human creature.
     Well, that is a fact.  God did mean it to be the ordinary thing, for it is His will that Christ shall be born in every human being’s life and not, as a rule, through extraordinary things, but through the ordinary daily life and the human love that people give to one another.” (Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God, ‘Fiat’ p. 18)
Not much has changed outwardly in my daily life since my life profession.  I still have the same work to do, I still have the same sisters to love, I still must respond ‘yes’ every day to all the calls that Jesus makes.  What is different is that I now interiorly have the grace to fulfill my vows to Him, if I just turn to Jesus in every ordinary situation and allow Him to unite Himself to me through the very mundaneness of everyday life.  I must surrender in each situation to His will and allow Him to love through me each person I encounter – filled with Him within me and bearing Him, not myself, forth to the world.
     “The surrender that is asked of us includes complete and absolute trust; it must be like Our Lady’s surrender, without condition and without reservation.
     We shall not be asked to do more than the Mother of God; we shall not be asked to become extraordinary or set apart or to make a hard and fast rule of life or to compile a manual of mortification or heroic resolutions; we shall not be asked to cultivate our souls life rare hothouse flowers; we shall not, most of us, even be allowed to do that.
     What we shall be asked to give is our flesh and blood, our daily life – our thoughts, our service to one another, our affections and loves, our words, our intellect, our waking, working, and sleeping, our ordinary human joys and sorrows – to God.
     To surrender all that we are, as we are, to the Spirit of Love in order that our lives may bear Christ into the world – that is what we shall be asked.” (Ibid, p.19)
So here is my challenge to you in the final days of the Nativity Fast or Advent: Remember… that it is more important to come bearing Christ rather than gifts to all the festivities you will be attending… that you should share the joy of a life lived in union with Christ along with your Christmas cookies… that you should love each person you encounter in these final days of preparation, from the UPS delivery man bringing your last minute Amazon purchases, to your kids who may do more to hinder your holiday decorating than help.  Each of these moments is an opportunity to incarnate Christ, to experience the true meaning of Christmas and to receive the promise of God’s love as Mary did, in the very normalness of life.

Mother Gabriella


  1. Thank you for this beautiful reflection, Mother! God bless you all!

  2. Beautiful post and reminder for Christmas! The Reed of God is one of my favorite books and really helped me to draw closer to Mother Mary. Merry Christmas Mother Gabriella!

  3. Thanks Amma this is the GOOD NEWS,the GOSPEL we are called to know and love as we Cry it Out With Our Lives.

  4. Beautiful reflection Mother Gabriella. As I read, I reflected on my recent experience of surrender when I had a car accident which severely broke my leg. I am healing but had to surrender to accepting help from others in ways that were ripe with humility. As I approach Christmas, I will keep your words in mind and when I become frustrated with my recovery, or with others, will ask myself how I might bear Christ to this situation. Gob Bless You.

  5. Dear mothers and sister,

    I'm greetings you from Spain, Barcelona. I'm reading the posts here and on the Facebook weekly. I'm so happy to assist on your nice cominity.. even if it's virtual. I'm enjoying it. I know it's a bit far, but... on the Christ, all is possible. Also I'm Orthodox.

    Thank you M. Gabriella,

    a sister

  6. This quotes from Caryll Houselander made me think of all of you...

    "I am absolutely certain that your vocation is to be a "Mother of Christ" - it is all so clear and obvious now. . . the secret of it is that you have been chosen to live our Lady's vocation, to be a mother of Christ and to have Him for your Child as well as for your own peace and rest. How sweet and good for us to have you with us, for nothing now is more needed than a continual Christ bearing into this world."


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