Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother's Day Reflection: There's just something about Mary...

Can you picture her? She was maybe thirteen. Dirty. Fetching the day's water from the town well. Nothing much to mention in earthly terms--just some nondescript girl in a nothing kind of town from a nothing-left country that had been overrun and ruled over repeatedly. Her smallness and poverty and humility are probably the most notable things about her.

What did God see in her? Why did He raise up so lowly a girl so that all generations shall call her blessed (Luke 1:48)? Her "blessedness" does not come from something within herself. She is special because of what God has done to and for her, not through any magnificance of her own. The best explanation of the nature of Mary I've heard is where she is compared to the moon: like the moon reflects the brilliance of the sun, all of Mary's glory is merely reflected glory--as if anything connected to God can also be connected with such a word as "merely." Mary is amazing because God is so incredibly amazing. He (capital H) chose her (lower case h) to be His own mother, to be the Mother of The King.

And like Christ wasn't what the people of His day expected, a wordly power, a king (small k) who would kick those Romans rulers all the way back to Rome, Mary isn't what we'd expect in a Queen Mother! Her greatness is a small greatness--obedience, humility, quiet pondering, and a silent suffering witness to the Child of her body crucified. Any mother has wondered at images like the Pieta and thought, "As much as I could not bear it to hold my child, how much more awful for her to bear her Perfect Son and her God?!"

Pondering beyond that, how much more wonderful was her life? In my motherhood those first awkward steps, that first word, that first brilliant smile almost brought me to my knees with the joy of it. How could she have born the daily thrill of being in the presence of her God, humbled to become one of us and her baby! How extraordinary God makes the ordinary!

I just can't imagine it. I can't fathom it. As much as I am a mother, I feel in my bones her motherhood far surpasses mine. Her pains and even her joys and sweetnesses all have a weightiness mine will never approach. Being so close to God, His mother in fact, she reflects God's Glory that much more in all that she does. As close as I can ever come to that in my own motherhood is to reflect upon the most perfect mother I know--her. In that sense I am like a moon.

Let me be big enough to pray, my God, that I become small.


  1. This reminds me of the saying, To Jesus Thru Mary. Dr, Miravalle started this movement of the fifth Marian Dogma. Mary is the Co-redemptrix Mediatrix of all graces. Mary shared in our Lord's redemption so when we pray to her we are pretty much praying to God, also.

  2. Therese, are you going to write a reflection upon Mary, too? A group of us thought we might try blogging on the same topic. You may have missed the plurk, but here's a link to some of them in this plurk...
    You'll have to scroll down to find them.

  3. Christie,
    I recently posted an interesting video by Dr. Miravalle on Mary as Coredemptrix which is also in defense of Pope Benedict being attacked by the Lib media because of the abuse scandals. I am interested in writing on Mary along with you and the rest of the bloggers.

    In addition, I need to join plurk and I didn't see the writings on plurk I guess because of the privacy settings or something.

  4. Whoops! I am set to private on there. Silly of me not to remember that.

    We're trying to figure out how to link everyone's Marian posts outside of Plurk. Can you shoot me the link to yours, so I can share it (if you don't mind)?

    Meanwhile, there's a great Catholic Community on Plurk, if you do decide to join it.