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Conceived in Darkness

“I just can’t sense Jesus. I cannot feel Him close to me. I don’t sense our relationship sometimes,” I said through tears.

“It is because He is supporting you from behind that you cannot see Him.” This is what Mother Cecilia from Christ the Bridegroom Monastery recently shared with me. “He can better support you that way. So just lean back and let Him carry you.”

Sometimes it is when Jesus is the closest to us that we cannot sense Him, cannot see Him. That is when we are truly one with Him. He dwells within us, closer than our own breath, and He is completing us. It can be frustrating because we’d like to relate to Him as we do our dear friend or brother, teacher, or spouse who sits beside us and looks into our eyes. We can hear the voice of the other and feel his touch. Yet Jesus… ? Where is He? He is within us. He is behind us. And He is within my neighbor as well. He likes to remain hidden, in the “distressing disguise of the poor,” as St. Mother Teresa would say. He conceals Himself in my poverty and the poverty of the other.

I am currently praying a 9-month novena, also called the impossible novena, offered for seemingly impossible cases. It starts on March 25th, feast of the Annunciation, and culminates on December 25th, Christmas day. We are invited to journey with the Blessed Mother through her pregnancy as she bears Jesus for the life of the world, each beloved soul. We entrust our intentions and our very being to her womb.

In the midst of this nightly prayer venture, Mother Cecilia offers me this: you are invited to experience with Mary, Jesus growing within you in the darkness of your interior. You don’t have to do anything about it. You cannot control it or manage it. It is just happening. You can’t see Him or touch Him or hold Him, but He is forming within you. You can trust this mystery of conception in the darkness. Even seeds gestate in the darkness of the soil. New life begins in shadow. It needs covering and protection.

This resonates deeply. Yes, I cannot sense Him, but this is because the mystery of His Being is developing within the deepest recesses of my mine. All is well. We are one. Mary, show me the way to be still and know that He is God. God within me. God conceived in darkness. All is light to Him.

“Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
Psalm 139:12

Learn more about the Impossible Novena here:

Copyright 2023 – Marian West

Marian West is a Catholic “heartist”, seeking to live the art of heart to heart in every encounter. She lives in Lancaster, PA, and is grateful to have recently opened a space called Marigold, offering the Grace of the healing arts. Marian is a modern dancer, vocal artist, licensed massage therapist and labor doula. In 2006, Marian received her B.A. in Dance from DeSales University and then received her massage training at the Swedish Institute in Manhattan in 2007. She served as a missionary with Heart’s Home in Brooklyn for 14 months, offering a presence of compassion to the abandoned, lonely, and suffering. Marian prays that the Blessed Mother be her heart, hands, movement, and melody to touch Christ’s broken body in our thirsting world.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ms. Marian West,

    You are a amazing woman to our beloved Jesus& us. I love reading your blogs it fills my Soul with Hope, life, and a warm Love.

    The writings become Jesus singing it to my Mind, Body & Soul🕊️🌹 TY for your YES to build the kingdom of God.

    Love you forever my little Sister

  2. Brought to tears. Thank you Marian your words resonate in my heart ❤️. Blessed by being apart of your family of believers with the hope & love 💕 you share with us all, forever grateful.

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