Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sometimes You Just Need a Mother

Today is the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. It is the oldest of the feast days dedicated to Mary. The title Mother of God or Theotokos is important. It speaks to the consequences of her saying “yes”. It acknowledges the Triune God. It acknowledges both the humanness and the divinity of her son born in time and timeless. So, today is the feast but I feel like have just spent the last month surrounded by mothers!

On December 8th it was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Not an inconsequential moment. It reminded me of the impact churches dedicated to the Immaculate Conception had on me. Two years ago I visited the National Shrine to the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. I attended Mass twice there. It was there that I bought my first icon, the Theotokos.

Last spring I was visiting my mother-in-law in Springfield Illinois. I attended Good Friday Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It was beautiful and getting ready for remodeling. I look forward to visiting it when the work is done.

On December 14th we were in Joliet Illinois with family. I attended Mass at St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church. It is an old Croatian Church. It is on my favorite road in America, Route 66. It was the Third Sunday of Advent or Rose Sunday. The church obviously is dedicated to Mary’s role in the early Holy Family. Yep, mothers everywhere.

December 12th was the Feast of Our lady of Guadalupe. Statues of Our Lady can be seen throughout my neighborhood. Finally, some of our last lectures in class this term were on Marionology. I understand the Protestant concern that Mary can be worshipped instead of honored and revered. I think that is a real possibility. We face those possibilities all of the time. Rites, personalities, activities “we always do it this way-mentality”, anything can become an idol.

I also believe that Mary is powerful, not just because of the concept of Theotokos, the New Eve and the role in Salvation History. She is powerful because sometimes we just have to talk to a mother. Sometimes we need to talk to a mother who does not have the imperfections of our own mother. Sometimes we need to talk to a mother because ours is no longer with us or never was. Sometimes we need an advocate. And sometimes we are not just needy, sometimes we just want to say thank you for saying yes.

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