In light of the angel not addressing her by name, it is of interest that in the gospels, Jesus, who no doubt called her ‘Mother’ while He lived with her, publicly addressed Mary twice, and neither time did He refer to her as Mother or even as Mary: instead He called her Woman! He did this at the Wedding in Cana and as He was dying on the cross. But both times it was meant as a term of the greatest reverence and respect. He was acknowledging that Mary’s courage and humility, her purity and her willingness to suffer for His sake and for our salvation, places her above all other women. It is clear Jesus dearly loved her and that He wanted her to know what she meant to Him as her Son and as her God.
May we greet Mary every day with the words: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” May we take Mary as our role model, our confidant, and our intimate friend, so that she can respond: “I am with you and the Lord is with you, too!” May we remember that there is the power of humility, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, and love in her name: Mary! May we always give Mary her greatest joy, which is to lead us to her Son Jesus! And may we learn to respect and love others in the same way Mary teaches, that we may bring healing and peace into the world! Let us meet in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary! Peace!
© Michele L. Catanese
* From the September issue of Magnificat, page 156, this is a quote from St. Lawrence of Brindisi. (1559-1619)
If you are interested in Marian apparitions, there are many sites out there. I am only adding the one about the first apparition in Zaragoza, Spain. I have been to the shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar; the Church is quite beautiful.
Note: The next post will be on Tuesday, September 25.
1. This is an icon by Fr. William Hart McNichols called Maesta. Although the word 'maesta' translates to 'majesty,' I chose this icon because it spoke to me of holiness and simplicity. It is simply Mary; no words, nothing but her image. You can find it at http://frbillmcnichols-sacredimages.com/featured/maesta-224-william-hart-mcnichols.html. (A reminder that I have his permission to post his icons and images on my site.)
2. This is a photo I took at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth in Galilee, Israel. I thought it was appropriate to show the spot where the angel greeted Mary with the words, "Hail, favored one!"
3. This image is by Fr. William Hart McNichols, called The Hebrew Name of Yahweh-adam Kadmon. I thought it was fitting here because it is the Hebrew letters of God's response to Moses at the burning bush: "I AM WHO AM." Presumably this is not what God called Himself when He spoke His name to Moses in the passage I mentioned (Ex 34) but it is who God says He is: He is one who has always existed. http://frbillmcnichols-sacredimages.com/featured/hebrew-name-of-yahweh-adam-kadmon-183-william-hart-mcnichols.html.
4. This is my favorite work of Fra Angelico, The Annunciation.
5. I took this photo in Ireland, near Adair. I chose to use it here as a scene of beauty, but which symbolically speaks of accessibility. The canoes make the beauty of the lake accessible from another vantage point.
6. This is a depiction of St. Juan Diego seeing the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Guadalupe on Tepeyac Hill, Mexico in 1531. I chose to use it here because it is a good example of Mary appearing in the garb of the person to whom she has appeared. She was dressed as a peasant and spoke the same dialect as Juan Diego.
7. This is one of my photos, taken near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I chose to use it here as an example of the beauty of God's gifts to us, particularly the beauty of the holiness found in Mary.
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