Thursday, January 01, 2009

from the archives: Being More Like Mary

On the feast of Mary, the Mother of God:

I dislike comparing myself to Mary, because it's akin to holding my Sculpey creations next to Michelangelo's Pieta and asking what kind of artist I am.

The differences are painful to see and ultimately laughable. But, I do it anyway, because it's good spiritual exercise.
Mary was a wife and mother, as am I. Mary cooked meals, cleaned house, and did laundry, as do I. There the comparisons end.

I imagine home life with Mary and I envision peace and serenity, because Mary knew that the mundane tasks of each moment were a necessary part of the whole. The meal of the day, the washing, the tidying and the clean-up of dishes ... everything had import and was approached as such. She simply did it because that is part of what the mother of Jesus needed to do.

This year, I will strive to be more Mary-like in my household tasks, approaching them with greater serenity and acceptance, knowing that all things have import and that my duties as a mother and a keeper of our home are a necessary part of the whole.

I imagine affection, warmth and laughter in the home of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. (Remember that scene in The Passion of the Christ in which Mary and Jesus are joking and laughing about tables and chairs? I loved that.)

This year, I'll thank God for all the laughter in our home, knowing He is the author of such joy, and I'll strive to find and hold on to the humor in those inevitable days that crop up (you know ... the ones that will not, at first glance, seem to hold any humor.)

Mary's faith was bare and heroic, as Romano Guardini said in this old article at Godspy. Again and again, she had to endure pain and separation and yet her faith didn't -- couldn't -- waver.

This year, in my walk with God, when I feel distance from Him, though I can't resolve to have such faith (as only God can grant it) I can resolve to pray for it always, to ask to be more like Mary in my faith.

I don't know that Mary would have blogged ... she pondered musings in her heart, rather than blabbing them to the world. She pondered, prayed, and she listened.

This year, though I won't resolve not to blog (or blab, as it were) I can resolve to continue pondering things in my heart and to ask the Lord to make His answers to my ponderings clearer to me.

If God however, asks me to quit blogging, I will. He'll have to be very loud and clear about it, though.

Like Mary, I pray I'll be listening.

(Painting: Polish Madonna)


sarah p said...

I certainly pray God doesn't ask you to stop blogging! You're one of the people who inspired my conversion. So God is using your blog well!

I am wary of the "perfect wife and mother" traditions about Mary, but there must be some truth in there because look at what a great job she did of raising her son! :-)

Karen E. said...

Oh, Sarah, what a lovely and humbling thing to hear! Thank you.

And I assure you I have no intention of abandoning my blog, so if God has other plans for it, He'll have to shout them at me. :-)

I like to look at the idea of Mary as the perfect mother in light of her sinlessness -- while I cannot be sinless as she was, I *can* strive to recognize the difference between sinful behaviors and legitimate ones. Anger comes to mind, for example ... as moms, there are times we feel righteous anger and we respond accordingly, and there are times we respond in anger due to our own sinfulness (my own impatience or selfishness, etc.) You know?