The Bender family has a new addition to our household! Last fall, Justin came home with a tabby cat, Roo. We all fell in love with our sweet little pet, including my husband, who mysteriously overcame his "cat allergy" once Roo moved in.
There's a legend about tabby cats regarding the letter "M" that can be seen on their foreheads. As the story goes, when Jesus was born, He was so cold in the manger that the Blessed Mother struggled to keep Him warm. All of the farm animals moved closer to the creche, hoping that their breath would bring warmth to the Child, but still, the Babe continued to shiver and cry. Then a tabby cat jumped right into the manger next to our Lord and his body heat and rhythmic purring soon lulled the Infant Christ to sleep. The Blessed Mother was so grateful, that as she patted the cat's head in gratitude, she left the mark of the letter "M" upon his forehead. To this day, all tabby cats carry the mark of the Blessed Mother upon their heads.
Like the tabby cat, we too, bring warmth to the Christ Child with each act of kindness that we do for love of Him. When we attend Mass with reverence, spend time in Eucharistic Adoration of our Lord, generously give to those who have not, spread joy with a friendly smile, share our faith with children, visit those who are ill, mourn and pray for those who have died or give Christian love in any other possible way, we are pleasing the Blessed Mother who so deeply longs for Her Son to be known and loved in this world. And so, in gratitude, she leaves her mark upon us as well, sheltering us under the shadow of her protection and within the gaze of her loving eyes. We are forever her children and we are blessed by the mark of her love.
You can be sure that during my Advent preparations this year I'll be searching for a tabby cat to grace my nativity set so that for the first time, my Christmas creche will truly be complete!
(P.S. Dear Reader, did you find this post to be a shameless sharing of cat pictures? If so, please forgive the indulgence! I do love that adorable cat!)