Mary Mary

August 14, 2007 at 7:55 pm Leave a comment

 I received a Wondermail reply recently from Indira, a terrific Café family member. She mentioned wanting Mary back in Christianity, not just for her personally, but for the sake of humanity. This reawakened a part of me that has been dozing lately and I found I happily agreed with her, in two ways.

Now, Indira was referring to Mary, mother of Jesus. This Mary is a central figure in the Roman Catholic religion and has been raised to deity status over time, perhaps to compensate for the male centric nature of this religion. At least our Roman church sisters and brothers hold dear this symbol of the sacred feminine or as Indira describes it, “the Sacred Heart of Christianity.” Yes! The story of Mary is a mother’s story. A story of birthing, nurturing and raising this beloved son. She would have felt the anxious pang of separation as Jesus headed out “to find himself” (probably among the Essenes). She must have been happy and proud when he returned and began his ministry yet, like any mother, she would feel the sting of rebuke at the wedding in Cana. She would try to disguise the humiliation of being shunned when she sought him (Matt: 12: 46-50). She witnessed every mother’s horror; watching her son be executed in a particularly ghoulish manner. Yet, maybe she felt a shred of solace as some of Jesus’ last words were to provide for her (John 19: 27). Imagine the memories and torment roiling in her mind as she followed her son’s bloody body to the tomb to see it locked away. Her story is one any mother can empathize with. It seems a mother’s lot is to be put through an emotional wringer in life but to never stop loving their creation. How so like God. God the Mother? Yes, Mary deserves a place in Christianity for the sake of humanity.

When Indira mentioned Mary, my first thought, however, was of Mary Magdalene. Current scholarship says Jesus loved this Mary and they may even have been married. I like to think they were. I believe she was a strong leader in the early period after Jesus was crucified. She was shuffled into the background in the early church by men seeking to dominate this new movement. Her story speaks of the Sacred Feminine too. She was a loving follower of Jesus the Christ, even after death. I can picture Jesus laying his head in her lap as she stroked his tired brow after a gruelling day. I can see the look of compassion on her face as he empties his heavy heart to her. I can imagine them embracing and experiencing wholeness at the joining of their yin and yang. Feel her hurt as she too witnesses at the foot of the cross and follows to the grave. Envisage her heart swelling as Christ is resurrected and she devotes herself to continuing the ministry, only to be overpowered and rejected by Peter and his cohorts. The temporal masculine overcomes the Sacred Feminine. This Mary deserves a place in Christianity too.

Our Native sisters and brothers revere the earth as Mother. Mother Earth gives us all the things we need to survive. They treat this relationship with Mother Earth as sacred; the Sacred Feminine or, as Indira says, “the gentle side of divinity.” We need mothers and Marys in Christianity for the sake of all humanity.

Wouldn’t it be a great tonic for the world if we could all love our neighbour with a mother’s love? Yes, it would be difficult to for us to endure the sting of rebuke, the embarrassment of humiliation and the crush of loss. In this “me” society it is hard to put others first and give unrequited support, but Mary did it and so can we. The feminine part of the One has been missing from Christianity for too long.

Mary, Mary,

Mothers, very

May your love

With humans tarry

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Entry filed under: Wrestling With God.

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