“This Is My Body”

Great thoughts on breastfeeding and the Eucharist from Philangelus:

I got back at the consecration just in time for Kiddo#4 to decide pooping had made room for more milk, and therefore it must be my responsibility to put more there.

I�m a discreet nurser-in-public so I just slipped K4 around in the Mayawrap, and at the moment I latched him on, I heard the priest say, �This is my body, which will be given up for you.�

You know those �epiphany� moments? I had one right then, and it lasted right until the end of Mass.

There are only two times in the average human being�s life when we can expect to say �this is my body� to another human being. One of them would be a mother with her baby: first, a mother giving her body over to her baby for the purpose of gestation and later on for nursing. The mother is giving from her physical self solely for the benefit of someone else. Her uterus exists only for the nurturance of a different human being. And really, the same can be said of her breasts. That whole system is there only to benefit someone who is not her. In fact, she might be healthier if those systems were removed, and many women can and do live a full life without ever using those systems.

The second situation would be lovers in an act of physical intimacy: a man effectively says �this is my body� to his bride, or a woman to her husband. Again it�s other-oriented for the most part: Take me; this is my body. I am yours.”

And for the rest of the Mass, right through Communion, I was struck by the way Jesus had said that to us, the tender vulnerability of a man approaching his spouse or the concern of a mother feeding her baby. The chance of rejection. The openness to the needs of the other. The awkwardness of someone who loves someone else.

Read the rest here.

via Fructus Ventris

9 Responses to “This Is My Body”

  1. Judy April 27, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    Absolutely beautiful!

  2. The Bookworm April 28, 2008 at 2:35 am #

    That looks wonderful. What a brilliant idea! And what an incredible age of technology we live in. Who would have imagined even 10 years ago that it would be possible to design and print your own book like that?

  3. Katherine April 28, 2008 at 3:49 am #

    Melanie,

    It is beautiful. How could I get a book published like that?

  4. jen April 28, 2008 at 8:08 am #

    Ohhhh! Can’t you show all the pages?!  This is awesome…

  5. Melanie Bettinelli April 28, 2008 at 8:29 am #

    We put it together via Blurb.com. They have a software program that you download then you do all the layouts (they have easy to use templates to help you.) and they print it and mail it to you. It was about $38 for a nice 30 something page hardcover with dust jacket.

    We used artwork we found online. (you have to have very high quality images so that can be a bit tricky.)  But you could also use it to do photo albums using pictures you’ve uploaded from a camera.

    Blurb would actually let us sell copies to other people; but the catch is we aren’t sure about the copyright to all the pictures we used. Some were definitely fair game, from wikipedia commons, others we pulled from various webpages and while I felt free to use it for our own book, I don’t know that it would be right to use them for something I’m selling. I might be tempted to do another version using only art that is fair use and put it up for sale. It would be quite a bit of work, though.

    jen, I might take some more pictures later and post them.

  6. Melanie Bettinelli May 1, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    My sister used to cross herself in the name of the Father, the Son and the ‘Colie ‘pirit (‘Colie being her nickname for our cousin Nicole).

  7. MamaT May 1, 2008 at 2:46 am #

    Very cool!

    It reminds me of when my niece, Zoe, was that age.  My sister called and said, “Wait ‘til you come for supper and hear Zoe cross herself!”

    We went.  And what Zoe was saying?

    “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ferret.”

    She was offended when we laughed ‘til we cried.  But we still tell her about now that she’s a big girl of 10.  She loves the story, but she doesn’t want us to tell her future boyfriends.

    Fat chance.

  8. Katherine May 7, 2008 at 5:40 am #

    Melanie,

    I notice the program prefers pictures with a rather large pixel size. What size did you think printed well? Or do you think it has to meet the large sizes they advise?

  9. Melanie Bettinelli May 7, 2008 at 7:24 am #

    Size really does matter, go for the highest pixel count you can find. If you use a picture with a lower resolution than they recommend it’s going to look very grainy on the printed page, even if it looks good and sharp on your monitor. We hunted for pictures that would fit the recommended size (google image search lets you search by picture size) and sometimes I had to give up a picture I really liked because I couldn’t find the image in a large enough format. I did use one of the pictures I loved but was too small as an inset in the front cover flap.

    Our book looks very sharp, the pictures are of the highest quality; but we did follow the guidelines and with pictures that were smaller we resized them until the red flag disappeared.

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