Blog Template Theology of the Body: My early morning thoughts, and the Immaculata

Saturday, December 08, 2012

My early morning thoughts, and the Immaculata

One of the greatest pleasures in my life is watching my baby wake up in the morning. When the light is still dim, she stirs a little next to me, adjusts her little body, breathes a little lighter. Gradually, there is another set of shifts and stretches among the pillows, one arm, then the next, a craning of her little neck, an arching of her little back, perhaps a defiant kick of her little feet. Eventually, we have cognition, open eyes, a still sleepy head held high triumphantly, a lilting "good moooowning mama," before the day's first demands for juice, or a movie, or whatever.

I love watching these first, early movements of each day because these are the primitive movements she made when she was first born, and before she was born- those aimless little stretches, the unformed reaching. I otherwise don't see those movements anymore. Her daily activity is rapidly becoming that of a coordinated little girl. She dances, and runs, and bounces, and kicks and throws her little balls remarkably well. She helps me scramble eggs. As she would be the first to tell you, she rides horses, because she brave. But in her half- awake, semi conscious state of the early morning, she is for a few moments again tiny, aimless, embryonic. And I treasure that.

As her mother, I think so often of how God parents us. How, as a merciful parent, He must be amused and calm and endeared when we are not quite collected. How He must sigh in infinite patience when we lose our hard-earned coordination and tumble at His feet, screaming with frustration, with nothing left to need but fatherly consolation. How He must smile when, every now and then, we successfully dance, or toss our balls, or act with the courage and the dignity and skill for which we are made. How He must dream of the day when we will be champions of grace, giving Him the credit that is truly due to His excellent paternal care. And yet how He treasures us even in the early and unformed times too, when our weak souls are embryonic, and when the grace in our lives becomes unformed because of sin.

So much mercy. Because in the utterly gratuitous beginning, our God made a world fully formed. Everything that was made, was made. Adult Adam, adult Eve. Everything ready and willing for vigorous, effective stewardship, and fruitfulness, and fully intimate fellowship with their Creator and with one another. Our first parents were for a time gorgeous, coordinated, collected champions of grace. It is not surprising that when the dawn of the new creation began to break, God started again with grace fully formed, adult, flourishing, mature, lacking nothing, in the handmaiden who would conceive His Son. In her, everything was ready and willing for stewardship, and fruitfulness, and fully intimate fellowship with her Creator and with us. In the New Eve- as with the first Eve, but better- there would be no embryonic, unformed virtue, no baby days of confused uncollectedness. There was no lacking that remained to be filled by experience and instruction. She is she who is full of grace. God is the Creator who makes things that are fully formed. In the beginning, He did it once; in Mary, He did it again.

It is fitting that we acknowledge that we are different. We are embryonic, we become infants time and time again. We obviously sin. We undo the full grace of our baptism. In our baby souls, day in and day out, we grow, revert, try again. And because of the fully formed one who once said yes, we are given the mercy of living and moving and being in the One who, in His mercy, gave Himself a mother in order to take on every aspect of our humanity. In His mercy, He gives us His mother too. I imagine they are both watching our craning and stretching and our waking little triumphs together, in the early morning light of Advent.