Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Unlikely Virgin Mary

It's almost impossible to journey through the Advent season without being challenged by the implications of our collective participation in a Culture of Death. After all, we are anticipating the birth of Our Savior.

Following the Annunciation, all Christians consider Him to be already with us, yet eagerly await seeing Him at His birth. John, also not yet born, is with us and testifies to his Lord by leaping in Elizabeth's womb.

If Mary lived today, and were she not without sin, her crisis pregnancy might have been terminated at any time from the Annunciation to the manger.

Even before Advent, Our Holy Father has turned to the themes of trust in God and respect for life, with Mary being the model of both. On the Feast of Christ the King he said at the Angelus:

". . .the Lord takes our good to heart, that each man and woman might have life, and especially that his "smallest" of children might join in the banquet he has prepared for all. Thus he knows not what to make of those kind of hypocrites who say "Lord, Lord" and then transgress his commandments (cf Mt 7:21). In his eternal kingdom, God welcomes those who push themselves day after day to put into practice his word. For this the Virgin Mary, the humblest of all creatures, is the greatest in his eyes and sits as Queen at the right hand of Christ the King. To her heavenly intercession let us entrust ourselves again with a child's trust, that we might realize our Christian mission in the world."

And last week he said:
"This attitude of the heart is embodied perfectly in the Virgin Mary who, on receiving the most precious gift of all, Jesus himself, offered him to the world with immense love."

Eight years ago, a very unlikely woman in a crisis pregnancy modeled the Virgin Mary to my wife and I, albeit, in "distressing disguise". She received a "most precious gift" and "offered him . . . with immense love."

See the whole story on a pretty old post I made at Godspy, excerpt:

"I had no joy. I was terrified. A woman who had carried a child for nine months, given birth to him and cared for him for three days was about to hand this precious gift out of her arms to my wife. It was a scene I didn't want to deal with.

Through tears, Sean's mother told us that she knew her son would have a good life. She was comfortable with us. Sean was in a hospital basinette, ready to be rolled out. We said our good-byes and all hugged and my wife and I started rolling Sean out.

Sean's mother jumped up in bed and looked at my wife as we were leaving. My wife went back to her and hugged her for a long time.

What meaning there was in that embrace. What a beautiful and sad thing it was. What a wonderful and difficult choice Sean's mother made for the life of her son."

From 'An Adopted Child, Closer than Blood'.