Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bright Maidens: Mary's Hands

Read more here.

Bright Maidens Week One: Why Mary?
Mary's Hands

{I do not own the rights}

Several years ago, a friend shared a dream he had about Mary that changed his relationship with her forever. 

Being a convert to Catholicism, after a six-year career as a Protestant pastor no less, the Church's teachings on Mary had always been a bit of a stumbling block for him--even after his conversion.  But fortunately, after having this simple dream, and through a lot of prayer, he was able to develop a relationship with Mother Mary and embrace the Church's teaching regarding her. 

In his dream, my friend could just see Mary's hands.  The tender, nurturing hands that had cared for Jesus as a baby and child--it was she who bore him, bathed him, clothed him, fed him, held him, and taught him how to pray.  The hands that prepared his meals, cleaned up after him, cuddled him as he nursed, and consoled him when he was hurt.

And it just clicked:  If I want to get closer to Jesus, there is no better way than to get close to His Mother.  "My soul magnifies the Lord," Mary says in her magnificat.  She magnifies the Lord, proclaims His greatness, points toward Him; she does not, as some would suggest, take the place of the Lord, detracts from the Lord, or lead others away from Him.

No one had a more intimate relationship with Jesus than His Mother.  No one knew Him better or spent more time with Him.

My husband said this morning, "I think your greatest argument for Mary is your relationship with Augustine {our son}.  I never knew that such a love could exist between a Mom and her son." 

He is right.  I can attest {and you mothers out there will agree},  that the love between a mother and her child is intense.  And if my experience with Augustine is so incredible, I can only imagine what Mary's relationship with Jesus was {and is} like.

It is actually confounding to me when I hear people try to downplay Mary's role in Jesus' life, in our lives, and in the world.  In case you missed the memo folks: by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary conceived and bore Jesus (aka the Savior of the world), in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesy (Isaiah 7:14).

That's kinda a big deal.

On Christian talk radio this morning, a pastor made sure to go out of his way to debase Mary.  "Mary is hardly mentioned at all in the Bible," he said.  "The last time she is spoken of is in Acts.  She is not mentioned in any of the epistles."

And what, mr. talk radio guy, is your point?!

Mary may not be mentioned beyond the book of Acts {by name, that is--there are obvious, and significant, references to Mary in Revelations, as well as in the Old Testament}, but let's consider some of the occasions she is mentioned in the Bible:

*An angel appears to Mary announcing she is going to be the Mother of God and addresses her, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." (Luke 1:27; 1:30-33)

*Upon learning this news, Mary courageously responds, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."  (Luke 1:38)

*In charity, Mary {pregnant with Jesus} journeys to visit her cousin, Elizabeth {also pregnant with John the Baptist}.  And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"  (Luke 1:41-43) 

*In all humility, Mary acknowledges her role in God's Divine Will, "My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked with favor on his lowly servant.  From this day all generations shall call me blessed.  The almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name!"  (Luke 1:46-49)

*Mary gave birth to our Lord and Savior in a manger, prompting a chorus of angels singing the Alleluia chorus (Luke 2:10-16)
*Jesus began his public ministry at the beckoning of His Mother to preform his first miracle at the wedding feast at Cana.  (John 2:3-10)

*Mary is ever faithful to her Lord, present at the foot of her Son's cross as He died for the salvation of the world.  (John 19:25-27)

*Mary was in the upper room with the disciples during Pentecost--the descent of the Holy Spirit.  (Acts 1:12-14; 2:1-8)

BUT {let's not forget} Mary's not mentioned in the epistles, so she must not be a big deal?  Right?? 


Clearly, Mary is a big deal.  She was present at the most significant moments in our Lord's life; present as a humble servant, always pointing others to her Son. 

Able to love perfectly, Mary in incapable of anything less.  She wants only to love our Lord perfectly and to help us to love Him, too. 

(all emphasis added)


  1. This is poignant AND it made me laugh!! You're so right. What is that radio guy talking about? Good grief. When you have to go out of your way to say that Mary wasn't mentioned that much... oh my, you should reconsider things.

    You know what else wasn't in the Bible that much? The concept of "sola scriptura." Oh wait... not at all.

  2. Awesome post. Mary's so cool. :)

  3. I love this, Andrea. Well said. I'm sure Mama Mary is smiling down at your mention of her :)

    Oh! And I love your new header!