"God's Word cut deeply into Mary's life:
it cut away all the ordinary hopes
a young woman might have for her future,
for her family life, for her child.
Yet she accepted with a courageous consent
that anticipates and mirrors the obedience of her Son
'even unto death on a cross.'"
Meditation - Magnificat
How ordinary was the Blessed Virgin?
Once, while painting Our Lady of Perpetual Help, commissioned by a church near St. Cloud, Minnesota, it seemed to me I 'heard' an interior voice say something like: 'Though I am depicted in glory as Queen, my life on earth was very ordinary and hidden. People must know that.' Thus, the little meditation from Magnificat cited above resonated with me today.
My post on Sunday - 'I didn't feel welcome at Mass' was meant to be satirical - yet that title attracted quite a few hits. How special we must think we are - huh? How funny we worry so much about fitting in, being accepted, being welcomed. I wonder how well we do, accepting, welcoming others?
Our Lady lived 'alone' for so many years. No one knew. (Legend says she died at 72 years.)
She understands the forsaken, the outcast. She understands the poor, the lonely. The homeless, the abandoned. Just as she understands those who don't fit in, those who are single - who have no husband, no wife ... those who live alone - even in the company of friends or family who can't really know the depths of our soul, the solitude of living alone. Those who assume they know and therefore judge - I wonder if they can understand solitude, the solitude of the soul, the solitude of Mary?
We complain so much and so continuously. We complain we are so lonely. We complain no one knows the sacrifices we make. We complain nobody knows us. We complain ...
We think Our Lady had a wonderful life because she is God's mother. We think she was so exalted on earth - but she wasn't. She suffered. Though sinless, she suffered - 'even unto death ...' Hence the name, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Solitude. She is attentive to our cries in this our exile, in this vale of tears.
"Come all you who pass by the way, look and see, whether there is any suffering like my suffering." -Lam 1:12
It seems to me Our Lady wouldn't have complained like that however ... not while she was on earth. Those sacred words are the Word of God - the words of her sweet Spouse, the Holy Spirit - calling us to look upon her and understand if possible, to console if possible, to at least try and make reparation - if possible... but more importantly, to turn to her when all of that, and everything else seems impossible.