December 30, 2009

The Prophetess Anna

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,
and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
--Gospel of Luke 2:36-40

The painting at left is one of my favorites: Rembrandt's "The Prophetess Anna". Observe how Anna sits in the stream of light and leans forward straining to read the Scriptures with her entire being focused upon them.

Today's Gospel is one of my favorites. I pray, Lord, that I never leave your Temple either. In my heart may I always be there. Amen.


Blogger X said...

There are certain people in the Bible that are particularly special to me that are not "stars" like Mary and Joseph and Paul, etc. They are the "supporting cast" such as Anna and Simeon. Good post, Cath!

December 30, 2009 11:13 AM  
Blogger Fr. John Mary, ISJ said...

There are so many "Annas"...those women who pray without ceasing, attending daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, at home loving and serving Jesus.
What a beautiful tribute and meditation.
The religious vocation is, to be sure, needed today.
But to encourage women (and men) who have the time and ability to pray and adore and love and do penance, is a great reminder.
The Cure of Ars once spoke of a man who he saw sitting in the back of the church for hours, in complete attention. He asked him, "What do you do all this time?" The man answered, "I look at Him and He looks at me."
If that is not a most poignant description of contemplation! And we need all kinds of contemplatives, within and outside of the cloister.
'Cause we're in pretty bad shape...oh yeah.

December 30, 2009 2:18 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Angel Baby and Fr: Good points!

December 30, 2009 4:50 PM  

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