This post was originally published in 2007. Happy Feast Day to you!
Today we Catholics celebrate the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother into heaven. It's a good day.
I know that Mary can be a stumbling block for a lot of people - some goddess we worship instead of giving due honor to God. These kinds of things are implied, accused or asked about frequently in my life.
But of course that's not how it really is. Personally, I'm so grateful for her comfort, wisdom, example and love.
In art she is usually depicted as young, small and white but when I picture her in my head it is never like that. Dark hair, dark eyes and older. In fact, it is not Mary as a girl or young mother that I earn to get to know. It is Mary whose grown Son was ministering to the crowds. I like to think of her, Jesus and the apostles sitting around and she's telling them stories of the days in Egypt. Of the goodness of her husband. Of what it was like when the angel came to her. Of her three months with Elizabeth. I think that by the time she was standing at the foot of the cross she wasn't as thin as she had been in youth, though she was solid and strong. Her hands and face weren't as firm and wrinkle free. This is the woman I turn to for help in prayers.
Of course I often think to myself, "What would Jesus do in this situation? How would He love?" But I also ask myself, "What would Mary do? What would she say to her Son? How would she pray for this person or love this person? How would she reach out to this person? What good would she see in them and how would she hold on to that? As a woman, how would she act in this situation?"
I know that the more I ponder these things in my heart and the more I engage with my Blessed Mother, the closer I draw to my Christ.
Here's a portion of the first reading for today's Mass. It's taken from the 11th chapter of Revelations:
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth... She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.