Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Heavenly Soup of Our Lady

JMJT! Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever!

The Soup, Pablo Picasso 1902

I ran across this picture when looking for images that might represent a moment that has etched itself upon my mind while studying and reading Mariam - The Little Arab by Amedee Brunot in our formation class. The story read like a novel. After refusing to convert to Islam at the suggestion of a protector and fellow servant, the Little Arab, as she is fondly referred to, was taken her to a dark alley and her throat was slit open as she lay there being left for dead. This occurred on the September 8th, 1858, which is the Feast day of Our Lady's Nativity. She recounted to her Novice Mistress as follows,  

“A nun dressed in blue picked me up and stitched my throat wound. This happened in a grotto somewhere. I then found myself in heaven with the Blessed Virgin, the angels and the saints. They treated me with great kindness. In their company were my parents. I saw the brilliant throne of the Most Holy Trinity and Jesus Christ in His humanity. There was no sun, no lamp, but everything was bright with light. Someone spoke to me. They said that I was a virgin, but that my book was not finished. "

She then found herself once again in the grotto with this beautiful  lady in blue.  One day, the unknown nurse prepared some soup for her that was so heavenly and delicious that she asked for more. She would never forget the taste of this heavenly soup, but was promised that on her death bed she will taste it again. She reminisced, "She made me some soup! Oh, such good soup! There I was a long time, looking, and never ate soup like that. I have the taste in my mouth. She promised me that at my last hour, she will give me a little spoonful of it."  

How much do we all yearn for this soup? The comfort of our mother's tender love and care when we are sick, when we have fallen low in life, or we are in emotional or physical need or pain? We all seek and pine for the tenderness of mothers in our lives, and we look even further to our Celestial Mother and Queen who can provide perfect maternal love and concern for her children. If we really meditate on this heavenly soup, I think that we can all recall times when God delivered a healing remedy to our woes, that was delivered by the Theotokos, the Mother of God, Spouse of the Holy Spirit.  Job was promised in his darkest time of need, ""God is leading you away from danger, Job, to a place free from distress. He is setting your table with the best food. [Job 36: 16] How many times has she interceded for us and kept us safe from harm! 

During this Easter season, we must continue to explore the vast expanses of how Our Lord has provided 'heavenly soup' for our souls when we have needed it most. We should keep close to our hearts song of praise and thanksgiving, that even in the most difficult of circumstances, we are not left orphans, but instead Our Triune God sends us relief in the form of graces and packages both big and little that warm our hearts and give us hope. These are given to us by a variety of people in our lives, but most especially through the hands of Our Lady who loves all of her spiritual children throughout the world.