Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why Honor Mary?


I woke this morning to this most beautiful exclamation as my daughter sleepily groped for me. As she latched on and began nursing, my mind went to our Blessed Mother. Specifically I thought of one of the five ways of reparation of the First Saturday devotion: "for those who try to publicly implant in children's hearts indifference, comtempt and even hatred of this Immaculate Mother".

My daughter loves Mary, in her own toddler way. And I thought, this is so natural. In fact, what happens in the hearts of children when they are taught not to love Mary? Well, if they are taught to love Jesus, they learn that Jesus is not like them. They need and are naturally attracted to their mothers, loving them in their own needy way. If Jesus never needed his mother, then somehow he isn't human. Or, maybe they start to see their own need for love as a flaw -- the evidence that they are not perfect -- rather than a crowning facet of their human creation. You get big theological problems -- especially Christological ones -- without the right relationship between Jesus and Mary and the soul. If Jesus never matured from toddler needy love to adult human love of his mother, He wasn't fully human. "Well, He's divine" you might say. But do we not believe as non-heretical Christians that He is fully Divine and fully human? There is such a mystery to contemplate there. That God makes Himself dependent on, needy of, a human being. He loves in a deeply personal, individual way.

If we cannot grasp this, how can we ever grasp the role our prayers plan in advancing the Kingdom of God? Our vocation as Christians? What it means to be the Church?

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