Monday, January 5, 2015

Blogging Around: The Family Edition

Two quick links to stories that are all about the Incarnation (remember we're not done with Christmas yet) because they are about family: the art of marriage and the many loving ways mothers and babies connect.

Master of the Winking Eyes,
Madonna and Child, ca. 1450

Did the Virgin Mary Tickle the Baby Jesus?

This was sent to me by the Reningers and how well they know me! I mentioned last week our priest's meditation on holding baby Jesus. This Dominicana blog post, prompted by the Picturing Mary exhibit, continues to expand our answers to Jesus' question, "Who do you say I am?" Be sure to read it all.
Happily, Pisano and the Master of the Winking Eyes have discovered and shared with us the divine intoxication of God’s true humanity in Jesus Christ, and how radically complete and all-the-way-down that is. When the Word was made flesh, he really became like us in all things but sin; and even then, he took on our sinful nature without suffering its moral brokenness in order to purify, heal, and elevate it, so that through his life, death, and resurrection, every good thing humans do can be a place where they meet Christ. That means that Jesus is as human as it gets: he got exhausted, took naps (although he had nowhere to lay his head), took baths, trimmed his beard, learned to walk and talk, and, as little babies are wont to do, squealed and squirmed with joy during mother-son playtime.

Complementarity of Men and Women as a Pas de Deux of Marriage

A New York Times piece about ballet prompted The Anchoress's thoughts toward complementarity in marriage. Too often we think about the differences between the sexes as something to overcome or battle, like a mountain to conquer together in marriage.  Reading about it in ballet terms shifts our focus to one of completing each other to create something better and new. Beautiful.
This Marina Harss piece is about partnerships in dance, of course, and yet it makes a point about complementarity that, when used with regards to traditional marriage, often inspires a sneer: men and women are different, and they have very different strengths, which allow them to do very different things; those strengths complement each other, permitting each to reach their greatest potentiality and self-expression. She relies on the gentle strength of his lift to help her achieve moments of transcendent, heart-stopping beauty. He gets to share, with his own subdued steadiness, and together they create something, and its totality is a composition of wonder.

Outside of the ballet, a man and woman, partnered, become a similar unit of awesome creation. Within a personal partnership (let’s call it a marriage) there exists a need for different types, different strengths, skills and instincts, and specific roles — with trained and measured responsibilities necessary in order to create that which transcends. One lifts, the other extends; one is the centering pole about which the other may fly and turn and reach, until both are raised to something new.

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