Photos, sometimes with Commentary, from a lay Catholic.
Monday, March 26, 2007
The Virgin Mary
I love the depiction of Mary here, and her warm and tender countenance both toward her Son, and toward us. I am grateful for her intercession for my family and friends.
I am aware though, that for many, the concept of Mary, and the place she holds in the hearts of many Catholics is confusing and perhaps troubling. Mary is a type of surrogate mother, but so much more than that! I do not worship her, but I love her dearly and hold her in high regard. Jesus gave her to us as Mother, and gave us to her as children. I ask her to pray for me, and for those people that I hold dear. For just as my own mother might have been called upon when I felt the need for support, insight or some special help, so I turn to her, considering her life and devotion to Jesus.
It's difficult for me to adquately explain the Catholic's devotion to Mary. There is ample theology to explain her position in the Church. Mary does hold a highly esteemed place within our Faith, because she, apart from all others, was selected by God to be God's Mother. And she, in turn, gave her complete "Yes" to God the Father's will, graciously accepting that she was to be "Christ Bearer".
In spite of our inability to fully understand God's will for us, her example of simple faith and trust in the One who created us shows us the way. God will do what He wills if we give our assent.
Jesus did the same, humbly accepting the Father's will. We are, none of us, worthy of the high calling to which we have been called. But because of the Father's extravagent love toward us, we have been found worthy to be called his sons and daughters.
In the history of salvation, Mary is integral, and *always* points to her Son. Our devotion to her as Catholics, is because of her favored position with the Father. As our Mother, she is always disposed to help us through her intercession.
So when I entreat the communion of Saints, I am happy for Her love for me. She is not only Jesus' mother, but she is mine as well. And her prayers, together with ours, can change history.
I'm a wife, a mother of grown children, and work full time as a nurse practitioner with cancer patients. My work is gratifying often, and difficult and sad sometimes, too.
I'm average and extraordinary, just as you are. I've experienced profound failures, significant disappointments, had a few successes, and been the recipient of a lot of mercy. I try to keep perspective on what's important in life, and not get too upset about the rest.
My Catholic faith is important to me, and while I'm no theologian, it's my intention that my faith inform my outlook and values, and inspire personal virtue. I love that God desires to reveal himself to us. I love the small hints, the little bread crumbs, the multiple clues, and the pieces of the puzzle that dot the created world and point to the hand of the Creator. I love that He uses beauty, art, science, all his creatures and the invisible realm of our heart and emotions to communicate His goodness to us. And I love that the fullness of his love can be seen in the sacrifice of his son, Jesus, which makes me free.