15 February 2009

Never without blood

Never without blood did the high priest enter the Most Holy Place for his annual exhilarating, terrifying task. Always he took blood, offering for the life of the people.

Not without blood did the Blessed Virgin bring forth the Life of the world,* that she herself, that all women, that all humans, together with all creation, might be saved through that most holy childbearing.

Not without blood did our own High Priest complete his work: he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. Indeed, so intense was his labor for the rebirth of the world that his sweat splashed crimson to the ground.

Never without blood do we strive, do we labor to bring forth new life. Sometimes, the blood is loss. Never is it meaningless, never is it nothing. Surely the Son of Man, whose conception forever sanctified the blood of the womb—surely He receives as precious, even holy, the blood offering of the womb. And surely He receives, He delivers, the littlest of His lost lambs with the utmost of tenderness.

Never without blood. And so we approach the altar for our own exhilarating, terrifying meeting with the One who gave, who gives, His own blood for us. May the sweet sharpness of that sacred bloodwine strengthen and preserve us, comfort and hearten us, even now and unto life everlasting.

*Yeah, I know: it coulda happened like the sanitized story we offer our overly curious preschoolers: “It was time and we went to the hospital and—would you believe it—there he was! Shazam! Just dematerialized from Mom’s belly and rematerialized in her lap!” But I’m inclined to think that Mary tossed her unleavened toast at the beginning of the pregnancy, had swollen feet by the end, thought she was going to die when she hit transition, and delivered our Lord in a euphorically terrifying rush of blood and pain.


Joy said...

This was lovely. Thank you. While I know full well that my Eden is in His hands, I need reminding. And there will always be that barbaric, instinctual mama bear that roars, "I want my baby back NOW!" Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

Rebekah said...

Regardless of the exact delivery details (which I cannot FOR THE LIFE OF ME figure out why anyone thinks it's any of his business, no hard feelings), the nurturing of a life in utero requires blood, wound, and healing (ask a C-section mama). We do make a habit of observing the Purification of Mary.

Sarah D said...

I remember at one point being very forthright in my need for a new bathroom faucet. My husband finally installed a new one last month. About 16 mths after I almost exploded from "nesting" impulse.

Oh and don't look at my scrapbooks the months leading up to a new baby they are piece of hurried crazy work.

Gauntlets said...

Would you expand this into a book, please? I've been really curious for a long time about all the blood letting, and cannot find anything in print that addresses the topic.

Sarah D said...

Hmm, my comment seems out of place. It was meant for the previous post.

Thank you for this post.

Sarah D said...

Hmm, my comment seems out of place. It was meant for the previous post.

Thank you for this post.

Reb. Mary said...

Sarah D, I kind of figured that the faucet issue didn't come to bloodletting. Though those hormones...they're crazymaking ;P

Pam said...

Thanks, RM.

Are you SURE you ladies don't have my brain bugged-- or at least my house???

It's uncanny.