Mary reminds me that as I reach towards those I love with a desire to bless them, I need to hold onto myself too. Healthy caring involves balance.
Loving Parent, thank You creating me with the capacity to love–others and myself.
Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger… Luke 2:7 (NRSV)
Invitation to prayer
Who is your heart longing to care for? As you imagine that person, raise your right hand in a blessing gesture while wrapping your left arm and hand around your waist. What prayers are emerging in your heart, mind, body, and imagination? Pray them now.
Photo and placement of this image in relationship to the labyrinth
The birth of Jesus in the right hand panel of the bottom row of the Life of Christ window. This twelfth century stained glass window is in the middle of the west wall, directly under the rose of the Chartres Cathedral in France. This image is visible from all those places in the labyrinth where the walker is facing west. As one leaves the center the labyrinth, and on all the straight sections of the pathway as one returns to the threshold, the window and Mary are fully visible.
To the east of the labyrinth:
The apsidal image of Mary as a throne for Jesus who is sitting on her lap blessing on the top of the East central window (above the choir).
The Annunciation of Jesus’ birth to Mary in the East central window (above the choir).
The Visitation of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth in the East central window (above the choir).
To the west of the labyrinth:
Mary in the Tree of Jesse (Ancestors of Jesus). Twelfth century window (1140-1150) on the north side of the west wall.
The Annunciation in The Life of Christ Window. Twelfth century window (1145-1155), the central window on the west wall.
The Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth in the Life of Christ Window.