Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Model for All of Us

I remember that when I was recently out of college, I participated in a focus group to critique a draft of the US Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Women. My "liberal" arts education just completed, I was not in much of a position to be receptive to much of the content of the letter. I think I was more receptive to the Gevalia coffee served by the hostess of the meetings than anything else!

What I remember most about the content of the draft I viewed was the position that could be distilled as follows: "Men can follow Jesus, but women can be like Mary." Oh no no no! Be the "handmaid" of the Lord? I don't think so. I was raised and educated in the 1970's and 80's. We're nobody's "handmaids" any more.

Both my grandmothers had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother. Both of them prayed the Rosary daily. One of my grandmothers had a picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in her kitchen. And I think they knew something that I didn't understand until much later.

There is no disgrace in being like Mary. Actually, it's a high goal to stive for. And since my vocation now is "wife, mother and Secular Franciscan," how can I strive for anything else?

This morning I read a fascinating treatment of this idea. Here's one part (but do read the rest!):
the idea of identifying ourselves with Mary, modeling ourselves on her,
is an old one. Christ Himself invites all of us – male or female - to
be His mother. He says “My mother and my brothers are those who hear
the word of God and keep it,”(Luke 8:21) and no one heard the Word of
God and kept it in quite the way she did.

Via Ramblings of a GOP Soccer Mom.

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