I did not edit the content of the initial processing writings – for good reason – i knew that one day i would look back and see how far God had taken me in my faith – and wow yes – God has brought me deeper into my faith – especially in my attributes of Mary Magdalene and of Mary in Lazarus’ story – i long to sit at Jesus’ feet these days and learn… it is time for many of us to stop being Martha – Michael Card sings: “Hustle and Business last year after year, but this little baby won’t always be here!”… there are mistakes in here – but i leave them in for understanding the depth of my growth…
Ok –this is the roughest of the writings I had done to date – but wow it flowed when I just stream of conscious wrote – maybe an hour for this – and half an hour in editing – done in the glow of the wonderfully fresh Christmas tree lights – no ornaments on this tree – but as bright and soothing as any tree could be…
thanks for reading – I have no idea why God chose this method of therapy for me – I am filled with questions and maybe he wants them cleared from my head to make room for better thoughts…
Mary and Mary, Dec 22
It’s Christmas – who wants to be Mary? Every woman and every girl – all of us are jumping with our hands up to be Mary in the play – in the living nativity scenes – we all love Mary – I love Mary…
I love Mary’s blue garments – the dead snake at her feet – the roses and flowers we place at her feet… I got to be Mary once in our living nativity – oh the awesomeness of that… a lifetime of aspirations came true.
Why do the Catholics worship Mary so much and the Protestants so little? One of the hardest things to get used to for me (and likely for others – when converting/leaving/lapsing from Catholicism to another branch of Christianity is the nagging question: where did Mary go? Certainly Catholics do not worship Mary as they did in the old days – in the early Christian church – in the middle ages – in the enlightenment – Catholics are not supposed to worship Mary anyway but to “venerate” her… but let’s face it – Mary is the “end all and the be all” for little catholic girls – we all want to be Mary.
The Hail Mary – Hail Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners – I can still recite it at great speed – recite it word for word without hesitation and recite in a crisis – like when hearing of my father’s stroke – prayers at lightning speed.
So why is it that protestant churches shun Mary so much? Let’s save that discussion for another time – because I just don’t know – I personally don’t think she takes anything away from God or from Jesus…yes, ok, she was thrust into rock-star-like status – but that’s not her fault…she is still the mother of God. She is still the holiest chosen woman no matter what fantasy…make believe…non-historically accurate trappings we attach to her.
May is Mary’s month – oh the first crocuses then the daffodils then the lilacs – I so looked forward to those early first spring flowers – the first ones picked and wrapped in a wet paper towel and aluminum foil to carefully carry by hand into elementary school (I went to catholic school) where every classroom had a statue of Mary… Oh to place those flowers by her feet – their smell and their blooms so abundant – I still think of the abundance gifts of spring when I smell that scent. Oh if we were Mary, the mother of Jesus… oh how we would love to get those flowers…
Although we (or I) aspire to be Mary – mother Mary – I have to wonder if I am not already or supposed to aspire to be the second Mary – Mary Magdalene. I am certainly not like that third Mary of the bible, Mary the sister of Lazarus and Martha – we (I mean I) are too Martha-ish – I am worrying about this detail and that – I don’t think I can sit and listen to the Lord like Mary – I am certainly not taking the time to sit and read the bible enough (maybe I will get the bible on CD and listen to it in the car – multitask! ). Yes I am truly Martha… Jesus rightfully scolds me – I mean scolds Martha: ““you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” Yes – wish me luck on aspiring to be that listening thoughtful Mary – probably will take all my life to become her…maybe I will never get there.
Back to the second Mary – Mary Magdalene – my limited wiki research on her says that some accounts of her said she was a prostitute – some said she was a sinner – some were of a possessed woman – some said she had multiple personalities – which is the right story? – too many bible translations and non-bilical combating scholars – no wonder people are confused on which religion to be a part of – but again I digress – that is another discussion for another time… and also – what about this notion that mental illness is the devil? another discussion for another time – intriguing…. ugh so many questions clogging up my brain….
Mary M – are we her? We ARE sinners – YES! We are prostitutes??? Hmm… well, let’s hope we are not prostitutes in “that” way – but yes we are all prostitutes selling our souls out for phony rewards, non-important reasons – we are caught in the trappings of modern society – so yes I could consider us all prostituting ourselves for our own gain…
Mary M as someone with mental illness – oh dear – the amount of mental illness in our world, just swept under the rug and hidden – not discussed – that is a sin – that is the plaque of our modern time – the pain and shame – it’s tragic… we can’t fix these situations if we don’t choose to see them – to acknowledge they exist! Did Jesus cast out Mary M’s mental illness – to show a miracle to the others – and help them believe he was God? Or was he healing Mary M for Mary’s own sake?… If Jesus thought so highly of curing the mentally ill – then why are we so blind to the needs of our time and why can we just ignore mental illnesses – ugh…tragic tragic tragic.
Mary as possessed by the devil… hmmm… another essay for another time on my thoughts on the devil…. the devil as mental illness – hmmmm….
Mary M was “cured” “discipled” “brought into the fold” – an apostle in her own right – one of the chosen few who witnessed Jesus’ journeys, teachings, miracles, and trials first hand. those women apostles – whom I have heard there were a few – where are their sainted names? hmmmm…. Mary Magdalene was so revered that she was the first – yes the first! – to know Jesus rose from the tomb – wow- not even his own mother! she was the first to go on with her duties as a woman to take care of the dead body – she didn’t hesitate to go into the tomb when the other women stopped – she was the first to be blessed to witness and believe with her own eyes – she went from “worst to first” – she came from the furthest reaches of sinfulness – from the furthest spiritual distance (by choice or circumstance) from the righteous ways of God – she journeyed the furthest and made it into the fold – made it to the first to hear of the Resurrected Christ and then yes – she told the others too – she was bold and was able to speak of Jesus.
In this time of Christmas – we await the birth of Christ – we are called to give birth to a child placed in our hearts – to raise and nurture the Jesus within us – and while we do admire Mary – mother Mary – to be impregnated by that holiest of spirits, giving up her body to birth a God – not to mention to be entrusted to raise baby Jesus – it was no small task and we dream we had her strength and could be so blessed.
But let’s also remember that we should aspire to be the other Mary too – Mary Magdalene – let’s not hesitate to embrace our Mary Magdalene – to be willing to be healed by God for all our sins and imperfections, to witness to the miracles of the Lord, to perform our dutiful callings even in the times of greatest crisis, to be willing to be bold and enter the tomb – and most of all – to tell others of the risen Christ.