Scattered Thoughts on Mary

Mary didn't earn her sinlessness under her own power, God (her son) gave it to her as a gift. That's Catholic teaching. Basically, Jesus saved her, too, but He did it "ahead of time" since God is not limited by time. Remember, Jesus is God. And Jesus perfectly fulfilled the commands of the law. The best way He could "honor His mother" was to save her perfectly and from the moment of conception, because He could do that, because He is God.

To be honest, I still don't "get" the Mary thing completely. I don't yet understand why it's so important. However, I see this issue as totally secondary to the issue of Church Authority. If the Church tells me that all of this is true, can back it up with scripture and tradition and it doesn't actually contradict scripture, then who am I to disbelieve?

I have prayed two Hail Marys in my whole life, just to see if God would strike me dead. He didn't, of course. But I still can't get into it yet. And that's fine -- I think God gives us the grace to work these things out in His own time. For whatever reason, though, a sinless Mary no longer bothers me. In fact, she's an inspiration. She went through all the trials of motherhood (though having a sinless son must have made for a sweet toddlerhood with no tantrums!) and came out without sinning.

Now she is in heaven, with perfect clarity of thought, and truly knows what is best for us through her own experience and hindsight as well as the perfect knowledge that surely comes with being in God's presence. So her prayers to God on our behalf are perfect, where ours are limited by our own lack of perspective and sinful ways. I have started offering up, in conjunction with my own prayers to God, the occasional quick entreaty to Mary to lift the prayer up in a way that I am simply unable to do. I've also been talking to St. Monica lately. If I get to pick a "confirmation name" (don't know if they do that for adults), I will probably pick her. Her dealings with her stubborn son are a little more relatable to this mom of a strong-willed toddler than Mary's experience with a son more holy than she.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may never develop a deep relationship with Our Mother Mary -- but she's always there. The Catholic Church is like a candy store -- private devotions are like this: you have your favorite, like chocolate (could be the Eucharist or Adoration or the Divine Mercy Chaplet) and then you enjoy jelly beans on occasion (Rosary, Novenas). You get to choose your private devotion and experience others as you wish and as you are ready for.

It's a pilgrimage! Enjoy the relationships that develop along the way.

11/18/2005 11:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been Catholic 13 years and don't often pray the Rosary. There are 3 types of prayer: contemplative, meditative & extemporaneous. As a protestant, I was taught extemporaneous was the only one w/value. Meditative prayer is just different and it serves it's purpose. Same for contemplative -- thank God for the Nuns who do nothing but pray for the world all day!

11/19/2005 08:47:00 AM  

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