Busted Halo
feature

Each day, a special Advent-themed Daily Jolt, with an opportunity for reflection and a microChallenge. Some of the reflections come from unlikely sources, and the challenges help you to take an action, usually a small one, based on the reflection.

Click this banner to return to the calendar.

December 1st, 2008

Monday of the First Week of Advent

Sartre

 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Quotable

While serving in the French army in 1940, Jean-Paul Sartre, the existentialist philosopher and playwright, was captured by Germans and placed in a prisoner of war camp. Before Christmas, a fellow-prisoner named Paul Feller who was a Jesuit, persuaded Sartre to write a Christmas play for the Christians imprisoned with them. By 1940, Sartre—who had been baptized a Catholic—was a declared atheist, but he agreed to the request out of a sense of solidarity with the other prisoners. The following is a brief excerpt from the resulting play, called “Bar-Jona,” in which Sartre offers a moving reflection on the Virgin Mother and her newborn son, Jesus.

The Virgin is pale, and she looks at the baby. What I would paint on her face is an anxious wonderment, such as has never before been seen on a human face. For Christ is her baby, flesh of her flesh, and the fruit of her womb. She has carried him for nine months, and she will give him her breast, and her milk will become the blood of God. There are moments when the temptation is so strong that she forgets that he is God. She folds him in her arms and says: My little one.

But at other moments she feels a stranger, and she thinks: God is there — and she finds herself caught by a religious awe before this speechless God, this terrifying infant. All mothers at times are brought up sharp in this way before this fragment of themselves, their baby. They feel themselves in exile at two paces from this new life that they have created from their life, and which is now peopled by another’s thoughts. But no other baby has been so cruelly and suddenly snatched from his mother, for he is God, and he surpasses in every way anything that she can imagine. It is a hard trial for a mother to be ashamed of herself and her human condition before her son.

But I think that there are other rapid, fleeting moments when she realizes at once that Christ is her son, her very own baby, and that he is God. She looks at him and thinks: This God is my baby. This divine flesh is my flesh. He is made from me. He has my eyes, and the curve of his mouth is the curve of mine. He is like me. He is God and he is like me.

No other woman has been lucky enough to have a God for herself alone, a tiny little God whom she can take in her arms and cover with kisses, a warm-bodied God who smiles and breathes, a God that she can touch, who is alive. And it is in these moments that I would paint Mary, if I was a painter, and I would try to capture the air of radiant tenderness and timidity with which she lifts her finger to touch the sweet skin of her baby-God, whose warm weight she feels on her knees, and who smiles.

Today’s Prize is: Halo Store Grab Bag — Choose any book, DVD, or CD from our Halo Store (May include: Googling God, Mary and Me, Beautiful Mess (Bill McGarvey CD), Yoga Prayer DVD, or Isaac Hecker: An American Saint or Magnificat Christmas Season prayer books.
This day’s contest is over. The winner was: Melissa P. of Torrance, CA

If you enter our drawing using the form below, your entry will be added to the drawing for whatever prize is being offered on the calendar day it was received.

To win today’s prize: Give us your name and email address along with the email address of one friend you’d like to introduce to BustedHalo.com® using the form below by 3 a.m. EST tonight.

(We will, in turn, send them one email asking them to register for our Busted Halo® weekly email updates. We do not SPAM people nor do we share our email lists with any third parties. Read contest rules here.)

Contact Us
  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
 

cforms contact form by delicious:days

Return to the Advent calendar.

 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
The Author : The Editors

See more articles by (348).
Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
powered by the Paulists