The Dolors of Mary give me such food for pondering. She, like the most significant visionaries of our time, St Bernadette, St Jacinta, St Lucia, St Francisco, St Imelda , ( ok, she’s not so well known but ought to be….) were little kids, LITTLE!!! St Bernadette was the oldest at 14! St Jacinta the youngest at 6. They too, bore unimaginable weight of heinous attacks, pressure that I don’t know I would have stood up to. Then again, God did not use me between 6 and 14 to communicate to the world messages either.
But think of it…… 29% of the highlights of painful events that Mary suffered, that we know of, she suffered when she was not yet 15. Those decisions shaped the salvation plan of God. That’s impressive. 50% of Her decisions dealt with parenting, decisions that were to lay the tracks for humanity to ride the train to heaven, (should they choose to).
In Her dialogue with St Gabriel, we hear her rock bottom understanding of what is being asked of her, she questioned how could that happened since she knew she, though married, had not “known” St Joseph and, with no intension to, it was made clear she was with baby already. The Holy Spirit did it. She heard it, she accepted it, she blessed it, she agreed. She made a decision based on rational riding on faith, belief, assured that Yahweh knew better and He had said so. Amazing! She was just a young girl. More amazing yet is the fact that, like St Jacinta, St Bernadette and the rest, accepted it as ordinary.
Were that have been me, what would I have done? React like I won de lottery? I got the keys to the car… so what if I can’t drive…. Would I have said: “Be it done to me according to Thy Word”…..
But now I’m seasoned in my faith. Aside from leaping from startle, I think, at my age I would say similarly: “…uh…. Well…. If God thinks that’s the best for me….. ok….. I’ll do it…..” I would say it…. proud of my gray hairs that had prepared me with such docility….. proud of my willingness and showing how humble I am by expressing to the angel that …..” I give all the glory to God….. Who knows best….”
I have spent some serious amount to time thinking about her flight into Egypt. Being a woman, I don’t know a single woman who would not ponder about that very moment….” Mary…. Get up…. We must leave now!!!, get up” I already started the donkey….. grab the baby, we need to get going….”
Did she stop and rub her eyes ….? Yawned…..? Squinting… which did she look for, her shoes or her slippers? Did she stay there sitting for a few minutes… trying to wake up and make sense of what St Joseph had said. (Well, keep in mind that he was the only sinful human in that family…)
Did she get up and walk toward the door, turning right back to grab the baby? See? This meditation is very subjective. That is what suddenly made me wonder if my perception of what She did is was is ordinary for me, a mere human, dragging myself up at the urgent command of my husband. Would I actually get up?? Or would I roll over thinking,” All this peculiar living finally got to his head…..” That is what I would think, had I been the one to have to wake up in the middle of the night, tired from caring for a newborn, barely getting any sleep from feeding him, feeding St Joseph, feeding me, tiding up the house, feeding the baby again, dozing off to sleep while feeding Him, waking up t feed St Joseph and me….. I would, perhaps get up or perhaps say to myself I would deal with whatever in the morning…
Thinking in my humility, my piety, my intense quest to be holy, would I believe my husband if he came in the middle of the night to wake me up and tell me, softly: “Yo… wake up, take the baby…. We have to go, now!!!!
Is that the time to think… WWJD?
What DID Mary do? Would I do the same?
I was shocked to realize how un-humble, un-pious, un-open I really am. I asked several friends and all said about the same thing in more or less vulgar terms… but they also seriously would question their husbands’ sanity. Not one said… “I would! I would get up and …. Go… given he had the donkey already running and all…..” All my friends are pious woman of grace!! All Catholic prayerful women!! But not one would get up and go.
So I wonder, what we, Catholic prayerful women who seriously question the unusual in our husbands, how pious and prayerful are we? Given that we are not open to God speaking to our husbands…. To lead our family to safety, to another state…. Country or even town…. Even out of the house…..
Would God see us as ordinary? Are WE, the ordinary of God’s creation or is His ordinary the expectation for us women, of prayerful, pious, of Catholic formation to snap to it and be running out the door with our husbands, with no shoes. Just our children, for no other reason that our husbands said so. No other reason… is that what is ordinary for God?