August 25, 2005

Which Mary?

The Word Among Us on Monday's feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary featured an interesting quote from the late Pope John Paul II:
"Far from creating distance between her and us, Mary's glorious state brings about a continuous and caring closeness."
Which Mary do you think of when you think of the Blessed Mother? Do you think of the quiet virgin who gave birth but who otherwise seemed almost ordinary, someone who never drew attention to herself and lived so modestly? Or do you think of the Mary in her glorified body, the Mary crowned in Heaven, the Immaculate Conception, the Mary of the apparations?

It may be hard to connect these "two Marys" but I think it may also be difficult to connect ourselves and those we know now with how we'll be in Heaven, since the difference between our present sinfulness and our glorification is surely great.

The queenship of Mary is difficult for some non-Catholics to accept but perhaps there's a rough analogy in the film Lord of the Rings. At the very end, all of "Heaven" cheers and honors the hobbit Frodo, not because of Frodo's amazing powers but because when given great responsibility he made the right choices. No one worships Frodo, knowing with Gandalf lay the power, but nonetheless there was remarkable recognition and gratefulness expressed towards him by the entire community.

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