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Nazareth

With Mary at Nazareth

Journey with Colin: With Mary at NazarethSo, we will give up everything for Nazareth? Not really. But we can at least take into consideration again those statements we find in the Gospel according to Saint Luke: "As for Mary, she treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart" (2:19). "But they did not grasp what he (the twelve-year-old Jesus) said to them... His mother meanwhile kept these things in her heart" (2:50-51).

Mary attends to "these things", these events which happen to her. She welcomes them, but avoids questions, interpretations, or speculations. She doesn't look for the causes and doesn't imagine the consequences. She steers clear of turning in on herself or allowing anything personal to interfere with what has just happened. She projects none of her own hopes, none of her worries, none of her dreams.

Journey with Colin: With Mary at NazarethRather, she gives her consent to reality. She does not go around the event, because the event reveals God to us! And it is being faithful to God to accept what is happening to us.

To stay at Nazareth, at least at one time or another, stands as a healing remedy for the mind and heart. It means making a deliberate choice to spend this time attentively.

For most of our life we live in an atmosphere saturated with information, to such an extend that one fact vies for our attention over another, and we simply become indifferent to them all. In such a surrounding full of noise, words and messages, we can only hope to take the risk of silence, believing that out of perhaps a "word" might just be born. Not one more word among all the million others, but a word of life.

To stay at Nazareth means to chose to "recollect", not only in the usual sense of devotion and respect for the place where we are. It also means to find yourself again, to find yourself present to yourself, casting aside any wish to make changes, find solutions or resolve problems. It means to surrender to another person, and to be able to say simply, in all truthfulness: "Here I am".

Journey with Colin: With Mary at NazarethTo come back to Nazareth means to remove yourself voluntarily from the grip of work, commitment and responsibility, to shut yourself off, for a time, from the incessant demands of everyday life. It means in some way to go back to square one to recover what is essential, agreeing to shed all your sensitivity, touchiness, self-satisfaction, and self-image.

Take your bearings. Go back to the center. And from there, from Nazareth, find the path again that you must take to come out and reach out to others.

Nazareth is not a class to prepare us for contemplative life, and it is not a Zen session. It is a place for learning docility, fidelity to what God wants of us. It is where instruments for the Lord's service take shape.

There is not a moment to lose. Let us take the time to return to Nazareth. The decision will perhaps be painful, while reason, out daily duties, the commitments we've taken on will rise up to thwart us. But it will pay off!

Look, we will be able to pick up our agendas and inbox messages later on. And, at that point we will be far more aware and much more free.

François Drouilly, Fifteen Days of Prayer with Jean-Claude Colin

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Take your bearings.

Go back to the center.

And from there,
from Nazareth,
find the path again
that you must take
to come out and
reach out to others.

 

Questions for Reflection

• Have you ever found a place where you could find refuge, particularly spiritual refuge? 

What was it like?

How did you feel there? 

How did you feel when it was time to leave?

• If you have not had much experience of a spiritual "refuge", what kind of place would be an ideal refuge for you? 

What would you be looking for? 

How would you want to feel there?

• Granted the image of Nazareth remains mostly in our imagination and is not actually a geographical possibility for us, can you identify with any of the ideas in the text?

What is the value of returning, at least in our mind's eye, to that house in Galilee with Jesus and Mary?

 

 

There is not a
moment to lose.

Let us take
the time to return
to Nazareth.