Worshipped with a Kiss

Worshipped with a Kiss

In the Bleak Midwinter, the words are by poet Christina Rossetti, is one of my favorite Christmas carols. This is a particularly lovely video, sung by the Gloucester Cathedral Choir. I can no longer remember who to thank for sharing it with me, though.

What I especially love, what has made me hit play over and over again, are the mother and child that the camera zooms in on during this verse (right around 2:20):

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

The little baby kicks at the hymnal and the mother looks at him lovingly. Then when she sings “worshipped the Beloved / with a kiss” she bends and tenderly kisses his forehead.

I was holding Ben the first time I watched the video and found myself doing the same thing. In face I strongly suspect it would be almost impossible for a mother holding a baby not to kiss him.

In this Christmas season, I find myself especially drawn to contemplating the face of my littlest one and pondering what it means that the eternal Word became such a helpless little baby.

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  • Like Cay, my “baby” is 8 (almost 9). Yes, I can put myself right back in that rocking chair, rocking a refluxy, insomniac baby—over and over.

    But now I also see myself in this post when I “lose it” during the umpteenth bickering session or when I snap at what should be a normal request, or when I fail to be patient to a child with true needs….or to my husband…

    Thank you. You do not fail in not finding the constant peace, you struggle, you and you try again—as we all do. That’s what I’m struggling to absorb and live this year—that I do not have to do it all myself, I can’t. But I need to let go of my pride—for that’s what it is when I feel the need to “go it alone,” the inability to let anyone in to help, the failure to turn it to the Lord and ask for the grace to do better.

    Thank you. Even in a different season of motherhood, I live a very similar struggle. Thank you for sharing, for your honesty. Thank you for letting me know that I’m not alone, while also giving me the encouragement to fight on to do better.

    God bless.

  • Of all the things you have written and I have read, all of which I have loved, this is my absolute favorite. Just beautiful, Melanie. I have been right there (here?) with you so many times. Day after very long day. This will be printed out and treasured. Thank you, my dear friend.

  • This speaks deeply to me, also a mother of three very young ones (3 and twin 8 month olds). Thank you so much for sharing, it is beautifully expressed. The struggle is very real and motherhood is so humbling. Sometimes I wonder if exhaustion and frustration bring clarity of the soul, or if I am too hard on myself during trying times. Maybe both, but I can’t stand to think that I’m wasting my blessings by being bitter. I am thankful for a new year and each new day as well. God is so infinitely patient—I wish I was. I’m learning though…oh, baby crying….

  • Just lovely, Melanie. Though my *baby* is 8 yrs, I remember so vividly these many countless rockings. This post is loveliness itself because it speaks truth and faith and grace and mercy.

  • Oh yes.  This is so very spot on.  If this is any consolation, I don’t get those horrendous ripping sensations any more, like I’ll die if I have to do this for five more minutes.  When I had children your age, it was a regular.  But time and more children, and an in-my-face realization of all the time I wished away in my now teenage children have subdued the beast, so to speak.  I still feel defeated often, I still whimper, cower, and have fear.  But the rage, the snarling, the defiance, those have been worn down.  I hope to be nice and smooth by the time this is all over.  Nice and smooth.

  • Oh Melanie, you have no idea how you have touched my heart.  All my own memories of “those nights & days” came flooding back to me.  I am not blessed or gifted with words like you.  I feel & remember all too well all those feelings & actions you have expressed.  How guilty I have felt all these years for the way I acted and handled things.  How guilty I am in my own behavior.  God has forgiven me and He sent your words to me at this time of my life so that I may be reminded that He had forgiven my actions to all I hurt and failed to respond to in His way.  Thank you & God Bless.  You are so special. 

  • I’ve noticed how often on Catholic mom blogs life is presented as near perfect. There is always a pretty and neat ending to a story or life is just grand….always….or at least in a familiarly humorous way. This post speaks so honestly that it isn’t always so wonderful. That sometimes it’s downright hard to find God and be willing to respond to Him. Thank you, Melanie for sharing so honestly,  that this journey toward Our Lord is so often a struggle that calls us to begin again.

  • Melanie…this was so very powerful.  My husband and I are still hoping and praying for children…but as we have miscarried twice thus far we haven’t experienced those sleepless nights with little ones.  However, I have no dreams of grandeur that if we are blessed with children, we will be able to avoid them.  Thank you for helping to prepare us in advance!  (Frequent reader, 1st time commenter.)

  • If it’s any consolation…

    “One act of resignation to the divine will when its dispositions are contrary to our taste is worth more than a thousand successes achieved in accordance with our own desires and will.”
    St. Vincent de Paul

    … not that it makes it any easier!

  • “The snow collects the light and sends it back heavenward.”  Gorgeous image!  I know that feeling you describe.  I’ve been there too many times.  It’s sleep you crave, a moment of solitary peace.  It will come.  You know it will come.  God be with you until it does.