As I write this reflection, November 13th, it is the feast of St. Gertrude the Great. We have a statue of her at the left hand side of the Benedale staircase leading to our chapel. There is an arrow pointing to her heart which reads “There is no place I would rather be but in the heart of Gertrude.”
A thirteenth century mystic and theologian, Gertrude was a Benedictine Nun who is noted for her deep relationship with the Lord in prayer. A characteristic of Gertrude’s piety was her devotion to the Sacred Heart, the symbol of that immense charity which urged the WORD to take flesh in her.
I have no idea of what it would be like to be a mystic, but I do know from November 1-15, 2018 the Benedictine Sisters in Duluth, celebrated their 125 years of presence in Duluth. The Benedictine Health System gifted us with a loan of the St. John’s Heritage Bible for our viewing.
That “WORD” takes me to the profound experience the sisters and residents were exposed to as recipients of having the heritage version of the St. John’s Bible present at both the Villa Center and outside our chapel.
Reflecting on the calligraphy and illumination portion of the Gospel of John 1:16 has helped me appreciate God’s gift of self in the person of his Son, who came to show us how to live, die and be rewarded with eternal life, because His promise of life after death was fulfilled in that historical moment.
As we move through the death and resurrection season of fall into winter, and the powerful readings from the Prophet Isaiah during this Advent season, may we come to more fully recognize from the Emmanuel prophecies, especially Isaiah 11:1-9, what we all need to pray for and help to make happen so that the WORD made flesh can become incarnate in us and in our world.
Take some contemplative moments this Advent/Christmas season to meditate, be in awe, give thanks, and love the WORD made flesh.
Merry Christmas to all,
Sister Mary Bratrsovsky, OSB
Cell Phone: (630) 750-6010 or email@example.com