Monday, November 07, 2005

Mary Leads Us to Jesus

I've been thinking about what direction to take this blog, and I decided that from now on I will focus more on Mary, our Blessed Mother.
For one thing, this is an area that I've studied more (I did some graduate studies at the Marian Research Institute in Dayton). But more importantly, I believe that this is truly an "age of Mary," as St. Louis de Montfort spoke of. Certainly she is present in every age, but it seems that in some ways Mary is more present to us now than ever.
And why shouldn't she be? Isn't a mother more present to her children when they are in trouble or ill? The problems in the world today must certainly draw Mary to us all the more.
I would very much like to hear some of your own thoughts on Mary today, and what areas about her in particular that interest you.

8 comments:

Lisa said...

Your "Mary" question is so timely, Sister Lorraine.

Recently at a Retreat Day for us Associates, the Sister who was leading the last session on the day, Mary as Eucharistic Woman, really touched upon our relationship with Mary. She challenged us to find that right relationship with Mary, to have a relationship with Mary that honors her holiness, that relates to her humanity, and that does not deify her. She highlighted that challenge that lies in cultivating that right relationship, that relationship that is in the right place.

We Catholics, as a whole (not necessarily individually), have had a hard time doing that especially since Vatican II when many have pulled away from Marian Devotions and others have bordered on Mary-worship.

What a powerful and empowering opportunity Sister offered us by calling us to touch the humanity of Mary!

Yes, I agree, this is an age of Mary and an age in which we are called to know her more deeply.

Lisa

seeking_something said...

*sigh* I have prayed (and will continue) that I may have more love for Mary, and that I may love her rightly.

Our archbishop said that he gets very upset when he walks into a Catholic church and does not find Mary there -- either in statue, painting, mosaic, iconography or some other way. She is the first Saint.

I've not read much on Marian apparitions, but generally, she asks us to pray more. And she THANKS US for being present at her appearances. Wow. The humility.

It'd be a real shame if we lost heaven simply because we didn't pray -- that's like losing heaven simply because we didn't keep away from the forbidden tree. Such a simple thing to do: pray.

Maybe one day God will show me how best to love Mary, our Mother and Queen of Heaven.

Sr. Lorraine said...

Thanks for both of these responses!
Lisa, you have brought up a really good point about finding a relationship with Mary. In some way, like a mother, Mary is present with us and walks along with us on our journey.
Seeking Something also has a great point about prayer. Prayer is the way to heaven. St. Alphonsus used to say that whoever prays will be saved.

Christine said...

Sister,

Lately, I have been praying that I receive a heart like Mary's. I tend to lack in charity at times and there are times when my mind wanders to unimportant things during prayer and Mass. When I get angry with my pastor because he strays towards the heterodox, I pray for ME. I know that might sound wierd, but I need a heart that is clean and forgiving and loving like our Mother's heart!

I used to be concerned about a devotion to the Blessed Mother, but lately, I realize that she points us to her Son. Images of her above the Tabernacle threw me for a while because I didn't understand this, but so often, those statues have her with her hands extended downward (like Our Lady of Grace), gesturing towards her Son in the Eucharist! I just realized this! (I'm so slow sometimes!)

I like what you said about a mother being concerned for her children, too.

Thanks for such a great blog. I will check in more often.

Lisa said...

Sister Lorraine, I think the point you make about Mary walking "with" us and praying "with" us is key to developing that relationship aspect and helping to ground it on a real plane. So often, in our reverance for her sanctity and holiness, we think of her as watching out "for" us and praying "for" us, which of course, thank God, she does. But if we are truly to enter into relationship "with" her then we need to consider the ways in which she accompanies us, and how we accompany her.

This is a great reflection stream. Thanks for raising the question to us, Sister!

Lisa

RAP said...

Thank you for choosing to focus on Mary. I am interested in the compassion of Mary and Mary as Sorrowful Mother. I am also interested in the Maternity of Mary. I was born on the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, and I was baptized at Maternity B.V.M Church. I look forward to reading your future blogs

Silent Rain Drops said...

Sister, I love your idea. It was Our Lady who brought me back to the faith, through the Rosary. Oh, thank you for this focus!

In an age where we reject motherhood and the babies in our wombs, we need her more than ever.

I love to hear discussions as she is portrayed as the new Eve: her obedience, even under the threat of death for being an unmarried pregnant woman, is the foil for Eve's pride and her envy of Adam's power that led to our fall in the Garden. Do I understand it correctly?

And I think our Church can never be called chauvinistic while we honor the woman whose humble acquiescence to God's will brought our salvation into the world.

Thank you again - you are on my daily reading list!

Sr. Lorraine said...

Thanks for your input! You are right about Mary as the New Eve. In fact that comparison goes way back to the second century, with St Justin Martyr being the first to write about it. Through the centuries many other writers added their thoughts.
Pope John Paul developed that idea in a very good way, and in a way that is also positive toward Eve. While it's true that she sinned and Mary didn't, another aspect is that Eve is like the witness to God's original creation, which was good. But Mary is the witness to the new creation in Christ, to our redemption, and this is even better.

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