Thursday, June 4, 2009

'Mary Made it Possible for God to Suffer' - Bp. Olmstead

Beautiful article this week from Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix. Some excerpts beginning with his quoting Fulton Sheen:
Archbishop Fulton Sheen described her maternity in this way: “The Immaculate is with the maculate, the sinless with the sinner… In her purity, Mary is on the mountaintop; in her compassion, she is amid curses, death cells, hangmen, executioners and blood… Mary’s cooperation was so real and active that she stood at the foot of the Cross. In every representation of the Crucifixion, the Magdalen is prostrate; she is almost always at the feet of Our Lord. But Mary is standing.” . . .

. . .Mary made it possible for God to suffer. Through her, Christ was able to weep at the death of His friend Lazarus, to sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, to be betrayed by Judas Iscariot and to suffer and die on the Cross. . .

. . .It is not surprising that new converts from a life of pleasure or greed frequently want to leave behind all contact with the world and live in the presence of God alone. Indeed, there are some seeds of wisdom in this desire, for we were made for friendship with Christ and, as St. Augustine says, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him. Nonetheless it is a mistake to seek a closer relationship with Christ by isolating ourselves from others. Yes, we must move away from persons and places that are occasions of sin, and do so with firm determination. But from other people we must not withdraw, unless it is clearly God’s call. . .

. . .Devotion to Mary keeps us from compartmentalizing our lives, from only practicing our faith when convenient and forgetting our faith when there is a price to pay. Mary is an example to us of entering the world with all of its difficulties and staying true to God’s will no matter what.

Mary’s “Fiat,” her “Yes” to God, had a beginning but had no end. She never saw herself as a “hired hand.” As John Paul II liked to say, her constant stance before God was “Totus Tuus,” “I am totally yours.” As Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church, she helps us to do the same.

The last recorded words of Mary were spoken at the Wedding feast of Cana, where she said (Jn 2:5), “Do whatever He tells you.”

I didn't know that last bit. Read on.