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Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Stable is the Perfect Place for a Child to be Born

This is a stable
Every Christmas we're inundated with comments from the pulpit (and websites and blogs) about how Baby Jesus was "born in a smelly stable", "born among filth", "born in a filthy stable", "born in a really cold dank smelly stable". I just want to jump up and cry, "WHAT are you talking about?! Obviously you have never even BEEN in a stable!"

It's evident that many of these priests/people never experienced the sweetness of a clean stable so how do they know what a stable is like? Several decades of my life were spent in barns—hunter/show barns, Thoroughbred race-horse barns, racetrack barns, sales barns, horse farms, cattle farms, sheep farms - and throw a few chicken sheds in there too. 

In reality, people DO keep their barns sparkling clean. Stables are cleaned every morning before these priests/people even get up or arrive at their Chancery office. Stalls are raked down to the red clay after any dirty straw is pitch-forked out, powdered lime is sprinkled to dry out wet spots, aisles are raked, swept and damped down with Lysol. Before horses are put up for the evening, their stalls are bedded deep in sweet, clean, luxurious, soft, yellow straw with piles of hay for the horses to munch on, fresh water in a rubber bucket, oats in a rubber tub hanging in the corner. Their leather halters (always removed after putting horses in the stall) gleam from daily cleaning, brass nameplates always polished.

This is a stall 
Certainly the Bethlehem innkeeper had the necessary implements and supplies to clean out his stable/cave! And certainly St. Joseph made sure everything was clean for the Blessed Mother. He didn't just walk in and fall asleep and leave her to deliver Jesus without making sure everything was clean and in order. In reality, people DO think of these things. 

In addition, horse and cow manure is not unclean like that of cats and dogs. Farm animals' manure is used to fertilize hay fields and vegetable and flower gardens. All the glorious vegetables one buys from an Amish market come from massive gardens fertilized with cow and horse manure. The manure of horses bedded in straw is like gold for farmers. We piled the straw/manure outside the barn so local farmers could back their pickup trucks there and load them up. At harvest they brought us baskets of their prime produce in thanks.

ere are farmers in almost any parish unless it's in the middle of a large city - and most large cities have race tracks with owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, exercise riders - and in stating that "stables are filthy", priests are insulting all these people! Did they never think of that? Would they insult women by preaching that "houses are filthy, dank and smelly" and "no fit place for Baby Jesus"? Or insult doctors by saying "no hospital is fit for Baby Jesus to be born in" because of hospital diseases - influenza, Norovirus, resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Like, "How horrible for Baby Jesus. He was born in a HOSPITAL! OMG!"

This is a barn
There is nothing like an early morning in the barn, drinking coffee, eating doughnuts, talking to exercise riders, jockeys, grooms, owners and trainers—and most of all seeing the beautiful shining horses groomed to perfection stamping and nickering with their breath showing on a cold morning galloping on the track after sleeping a calm night in a cozy, warm, clean, sweet-smelling peaceful barn—the perfect place for a baby to be born.                                  


Diane said...

You brought tears to my eyes, Susan. I am afraid of horses (and cows) because they are so big and can kill me. But I love them because they are so beautiful and a barn to me is a marvelous example of Man and Nature working together in accordance with God's Plan. As you say; a perfect place for a baby to be born!

Susan said...

Such a beautiful description of a way of life very few of us have had the opportunity to experience. Thank you so much, Susan, for the enlightenment!

Dymphna said...

I've been to Amish dairy farms and they are clean as a whistle, especially the milking area. A cow or horse are a farmer's livelihood and too valuable to leave in filth.