Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Have you Not Been Placed in My Lap?

Even the most retro, technology-hating, breviary lover will want to set aside the aesthetic delights of their printed prayerbook, in favor of the virtual one, for December 12th's Office of Readings.  This, after all, is the only way to see the second reading for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which does not appear in our 1975 edition breviaries.

The reading consists of the 15th century account of the apparition to St. Juan Diego. Our Lady's words to him are beautiful:
 “Listen and understand, my humblest son. There is nothing to frighten and distress you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and let nothing upset you. Is it not I, your Mother, who is here? Are you not under my protection? Are you not, fortunately, in my care?  

I also have the Kenyan breviary, in which this account has a somewhat different and longer version. Here, the above paragraph is translated thus:

Listen, beloved son,fear not and stop worrying.Am I not here, your Mother?Have you not been placed directly under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your lie and happiness? Have you not been placed in my lap, in my arms? What else do you need?

Although there is no way for us to tell which translation is really the most accurate, that phrase "in my lap, in my arms" so  sweetly describes the love of our heavenly Mother, that I'll put my money on the Kenyan version.