• May 23, 2017

Waiting with Mary

May is the month we tra­di­tion­ally cel­e­brate not only Mother’s Day, but most espe­cially the Blessed Virgin Mary, “the Mother of the Life from whom all receive their life.” We thought this the per­fect oppor­tu­nity to share a beau­tiful reflec­tion from Fr Paul Anel, as we pre­pare for Pentecost:

At sev­eral points in Mary’s life, she goes through a period of waiting. Waiting in those times that are, to all appear­ances,“dead” – where nothing seems to be hap­pening and her mis­sion seems somehow sus­pended. First there are the nine months of waiting from the Annunciation to Christmas. Then the waiting of Holy Saturday, the time which sep­a­rates Jesus’ death and His Resurrection – humanly speaking a short time, but which is of such obscu­rity that it seems to last an eter­nity. Finally there are the ten days which sep­a­rate Ascension and Pentecost – from Christ’s ele­va­tion to the des­cent of the Holy Spirit.

The first waiting period (Advent) con­cludes with Christ’s birth in the flesh. The second with his rebirth, in his phys­ical and spir­i­tual body, on Easter morning. The third con­cludes with the birth of his mys­tical body the Church. Suffice it to say that waiting is an inte­gral part of Mary’s life and mis­sion. Not only that, but this waiting, which never comes without a cer­tain pain and lone­li­ness, is pas­sive only in appear­ance: in reality, it is infinitely fruitful, the silent pre­lude to the birth of new life.

The life of anyone who has been bap­tized, in so much as it fol­lows the path paved by she who was the first to be saved, goes through sim­ilar periods of waiting. Even more so when this life is lived in light of a Marian charism like that of Heart’s Home. Participating in Mary’s mis­sion, is to par­tic­i­pate in her moth­er­hood. It is to give birth, to give life, as she did, with all the pain that this involves, because the only gift which is worth giving is the gift of life, the life of the Spirit: faith, hope and love. What have we to offer to chil­dren aban­doned to the streets, to elderly people without friends, to those who are des­perate in every sense of the word, to those who expect nothing (or so very little) from life?

Yet we cannot give life (that of the body or of the Spirit) if we have not first born it in our flesh, like Mary and with her – in the secret place of a some­times cru­ci­fying wait, whose end and pur­pose is hidden in God. On the day of Pentecost, the dis­ci­ples were gath­ered around Mary, awaiting the coming of the Spirit. In a time and place that so cru­elly lack hope, may Mary allow us to enter, in our own lives, into the great mys­tery of her wait. Veni, Sancte Spiritus!

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