Matir Theou.It’s difficult to find something that hasn’t already been said, pondered, or pontificated upon regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary, so I doubt it behooves me much to try. Just about everyone knows that the BVM is the earthly mother of the Christians’ savior, Jesus. Of course, to what extent her early influence continues on Christendom at large is hotly disputed. As I heard a very Anglo-Catholic priest say once, though: “She was His mom, you know.” It does stand to reason that she would, as the medievals say, have Jesus’ ear…
I suppose what I and allegedly many other folks would object to is the exaltation of this all-too-human woman to the status of deity. I’ll even admit that, whatever the saints’ relation to our lives, she is indeed the first of the Christian era, and possibly the greatest. But does she work miracles, like Christ? Does she act as an advocate in our distress, like Christ? Did she ascend into the heavens or was sinlessly conceived, like Christ?
See? That’s pretty scary, isn’t it?
It’s this rather limited type of Mary that I envision taking the time out of her busy schedule to pester children about their rosaries or inform us of future tourist traps.
Unfortunately, my quick fix to this perennial “goddess problem” was to isolate the incomprehensible God into the “paternal” Father, “maternal” Spirit and “filial” Son, following in the footsteps of a few others that shall remain nameless (or should they?). Blech… perhaps the best lesson to take from all this is to simply let God be God instead of confine Him/Her to simple gender binaries.
So can Mary give us any amont of help or solace whatsoever? Let’s just say the jury is out for the nonce. One thing I know for sure, though–Mary herself, in whatever capacity she still operates, must have been far less passive, milquetoast, and Caucasoid in her own time than how various churchmen have dutifully portrayed her at sundry times and places. And as long as she directs us continually to God, I don’t see why her lovingly looming presence should be considered that much of a problem for the mature Christian.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. . . . For with God nothing shall be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:28-30 and 37-38