02 January 2009

Christmas Ass

Don't be scandalized, that's what the ancient holy card says, "The Ass." To be exact, it says, "No. 19: The Ass."
We have a Christmas custom in our community -- very likely one which is found in other monasteries as well -- where we draw billets for offices in the Court of the King Jesus. No one seems to recall the origin of these billets, but they are a beloved tradition in our monastery. Each billet has a quotation from scripture, a spiritual description of the office itself as well as a suggested practice and an aspiration. Besides this noble animal, other offices in the Court of King Jesus include the ox, the lamb, the lamp, the straw, the stable owner, St. Joseph and The Blessed Virgin.

This year, the editor of our humble blog was privileged to draw billet No. 19, The Ass. Perhaps it is the Lord's way of calling her to be a bit more humble in the world of push-button publishing. (or, perhaps, to resign from publishing entirely.) What follows is the text of the holy card:

No. 19
The Ass.
(Is., 1, 8)
At the court of the King JESUS you will have the office of the Ass, which a GOD permitted to be near His crib.

Offer yourself very humbly to this divine King, to be engaged in the most abject services, since you are incapable of sublime and elevated employments. Resign yourself to suffer and to be despised, in imitation of our Lord; say to Him with the prophet King that you are as a beast of burden before Him; ask Him to give you the understanding of Christian truths with humility of mind and heart.

Practice: Love to be unknown and reputed as nothing.
Aspiration: My Saviour, give me the treasure of Thy humility.

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