Thursday, December 23, 2010


So much has been said about this mother. It's perfectly understandable given whose mother she was and, perhaps even more, given our tendency to put people on pedestals. At least I am guilty of doing that but I see this penchant, as the French would say, this leaning, going strong in our culture.

It's an unfortunate tendency. We deny people their humanity and then we stop being able to relate to them. We say: 'well that's ok for them, they're special/rich/famous/chosen, but not for me'. We push things off that way when really there is something there for us to learn or to identify with. Perhaps deifying a person allows us to not expect too much of ourselves. I'm not sure what all the components are but I do know it's not habit that brings good fruit.

I appreciate Mary a great deal. I want to learn from her simple submission to the extraordinariness of God. She was humbled too, later in her life but through it all she remained faithful and steadfast. I know that a sword went through her heart because the scripture tells us so. Isn't that also something with which we mothers (or fathers) can identify? Our very own children do not belong to us, after all! It sure feels like they do when we give birth to them and hold them near as they grow but then they must go on to live their own lives, fulfill their own callings. Do we always understand? Do we always see the end from the beginning? Do we allow them missteps? Do we give them room? Do we never feel the wrenching? I am moved by the humanity of Mary in such an extraordinary moment in time.

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