Sunday, May 9, 2010

Reflections on Mary

Good Evening.  No church visit or pictures this post.  One of my fellow bloggers who is on the same social network as I am, has convinced a group of us to write a reflection on Mary, Mother of God.  I'm tempted to post the visit of the church named Mary, Mother of God, but that I think is not the point.

My mind is all over the place with this reflection, so bear with me.

Really, the first thing I think of when I think of Mary is Marian hymns.  I remember in grade school learning all kinds of Marian hymns.  Some of the most notable are "Bring Flowers of the Fairest; Bring Flowers of the Rarest"  and "On This Day"  I have nightmares about these songs.  I like "Hail Mary, Gentle Woman" the best.   Now that I think about it, you don't hear very many contemporary aka rock n roll songs about Mary.

When I think of Mary, I think of a mother.  I remember Sister Mary Anne, in grade school, telling us to pray to Mary to get Jesus to do something for us, because good boys, and Jesus is a good boy, always listen to their mothers.

When I think of Mary, I think of a wife.  She married Joseph.  I wonder what their life was like.

When I think of Mary, I think of a woman wearing blue.  Nearly every picture and statue I have seen of Mary depicts her in blue.  The only exception I can think of is Our Lady of Perpetual Help, where she is dressed in black.

But we know so little about Mary's life, other than wife and mother.  I wonder if what her activities she liked to do.  I wonder is she had a favorite food.  What is her favorite color?  Was she well known for something, like knitting or cooking?  Did she have a secret ingredient that made some dish the talk of the neighborhood?

When we look at these images of Mary, we see a perfect young maiden.  I wonder if Mary had pimples? If she had any scars from illness or accidents?  I think about her hands.  Were they rough and calloused? Were they elegant?

I also wonder about all of Mary's various titles.  She has so many different names.  How did she get them?  I know Mary is called the Star of the Sea.  Why?  I'm guessing Mary never  really saw the Sea, or  maybe she did on the Flight into Egypt.

I suppose, in reality, I'm not a very good Catholic.  I don't have this deep devotion (or any devotion really) to Mary like others seem to have.  I see Mary as a wife and mother, neither of those vocations I feel called to at this particular time.  I know Mary is a woman, but we know so little of her life outside of wife and mother, it doesn't really speak to me.

I guess when I think of Mary, I think of the mother I wish I had.  Mary is so idealized that it is hard to really identify with her.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
 that never was it known
 that anyone who fled to thy protection, 
implored thy help, 
or sought thine intercession 
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,  
I fly unto thee, 
O Virgin of virgins, my mother; 
to thee do I come, 
before thee I stand,
 sinful and sorrowful. 
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, 
despise not my petitions, 
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.


Mary, Queen of Heaven
(I think...)


  1. I asked St Joseph to be my adopted father ... don't see why you can't do the same with Mary.

  2. You should listen to a song called "Mary" by Patty Griffin. You can find it on YouTube. It changed my life in terms of the way I feel about Mary.

  3. I have to admit that I have not developed the devotion to Mary that others seem to have. I understand the theology, and accept the Church's teachings on her, but do not understand the emphasis that is placed on her by others. God draws us to where He wills, and to whom He wills. (Guess we are bad Catholics together)