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Blood and Myrrh: A bit of Epiphany trivia, out of Traditional Chinese Medicine

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It was a privilege — and a real learning experience, for me — to do the Advent meditation series we offered before Christmas. One meditation in particular got rather broad in context and gave us elements to meditate on when the feast of the Presentation comes around — a whole bit about blood covenants — but it also included a bit of trivia I couldn’t resist adding, and that speaks to this weekend’s Epiphany Sunday in a surprising way:

A small bit of related trivia: In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), when the blood is considered sluggish or stagnant, myrrh is used, because myrrh “moves the blood.” When myrrh was presented by the Magi, we might consider that it was part of what moved the blood covenant forward, into the era of this redemptive marriage between creature and Creator.

One needn’t be a devotee of TCM to find that interesting, just in terms of metaphors. Let it bring us more deeply into contemplation of what blood has meant to us, and continues to mean to us, within the context of our salvation. Amen?

Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-at-Large at Aleteia and the award-winning author of Strange Gods, Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life and Little Sins Mean a Lot: Kicking Our Bad Habits Before They Kick You. ​
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