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Digital Photo, Jean-Marie Lee, 2020

JML-PLOGS poetic commentary is below

9 Days...

“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
~ Angel Gabriel to The Virgin Mary

There are several passages in The Bible stating, “God is with you.” or “God is coming.” Obviously, there is the context of the various chapters that gets removed and the generalized statement, “God is with you.” gets ingrained in our imagination as a comfort, a warning, confusion, or total surprise.

As of December 16th there are 9 days left in the journey or “nesting period” before Jesus’ birthday. Luckily, this cosmic year we will all get to see The Star of Bethlehem on December 21st when Jupiter and Saturn align. Maybe you are wondering what Mary and Joseph are doing for the last nine days of not having a kid— so— I outlined it here along with the traditional Las Posadas Novena.

Where the trip to Bethlehem begins:

Luke 2:1-5
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. […] And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child”

December 16:

A very pregnant Mary and her husband
Joseph pack and prepare to make a 90
mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem
on foot with a donkey to register for the
census and pay their taxes.

O Shepherd that rulest Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep, come to guide and comfort us.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 17:

Because Mary is nine months pregnant,
they would only be able to travel 10 miles
a day on a grueling trek. Mary and
Joseph’s path to Bethlehem would have
taken them south along the flatlands of
the Jordan River, then west over the hills
surrounding Jerusalem, and on into Bethlehem.

O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 18:

A winter trip through the Judean Desert
would have been cold and rainy daily
while freezing at night. The trails would
be hilly and unpaved. Mary and Joseph
most likely wore heavy woolen cloaks
and closed toed shoes.

O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 19:

Possibly Joseph and Mary traveled with
a caravan to Bethlehem. It would have
been safer to travel in a large group in
ancient Palestine. There is evidence of
bandits, pirates, and robbers through
out the ancient trade routes. The forest
along the river Jordan was full of lions,
bears, and wild boars.

O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 20:

Mary and Joseph had to bring their own
provisions. Obviously they brought
water, bread, herbs, and oil to eat. They
probably brought some gear for sleeping
and taking care of hygiene when “nature called.”

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 21:

Mary and Joseph were most likely anticipating
staying with a relative or another Jewish
family upon arrival in Bethlehem.

O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 22:

And because of the census, Bethlehem
was crowded. Mary and Joseph were
unable to find their anticipated “spare
room” accommodations.

O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 23:

Most likely Mary and Joseph were
housed in a cave used for housing
donkeys and sheep. It was noisy-dirty
conditions and probably exhausting.

O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 24:

Luke 2:6-7
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She swaddled him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

O Thou that sittest upon the cherubim, God of hosts, come, show Thy face, and we shall be saved.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be

Novena from Fish Eaters www.fisheaters.com/customsadvent8.html

Resource for Bethlehem Journey

Stations of the Cross pdf

Divine Mercy pdf

Chaplet of Saint Michael pdf

How to pray the rosary pdf

The Benedictine Rule
Benedict of Nursia




Further reading— from Joan Chittister
A Little Rule for Beginners

The Long Loneliness
Dorothy Day


Saint Theresa of Avila



Simone de Beauvoir


Death Comes For The Archbishop
Willa Crather



Plog Post: Wednesday, December 16, 2020