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This Is No Place for Our Lady

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By Anne Tansey

There is a tendency on the part of many well-meaning Catholics to keep Our Lady secluded from the turbulence of contemporary times. They want to keep her in the silent hush of the churches and in the little corner of home shrines.

To such people, Mary is a delicate lily who could not survive the noise of modern traffic or the smoke of industry. She is delicate china and must be kept from the frost of reality and the sun of over-exposure.

This attitude, though, is not at all in keeping with Mary's life or actions. She does not resemble the mother of a household who never washes and irons clothes, who doesn't sew or bake, who never takes the children to school or on picnics, who is a mother in name only, who makes no attempt to take on the duties and responsibilities of motherhood.

Mary the mother of Jesus was never like this. We are told that she kept many things in her heart as the drama of becoming the Mother of God unfolded, that she obeyed the decree of Caesar and traveled to Bethlehem as was required by law, and that she fled into Egypt with Joseph and the Child when danger threatened.

Mary of the Gospel was a mother in every sense of the word — tender and loving yet tough and resolute, even to bearing the sword that was to pierce her heart. She has made it evident in the Church-approved visions and apparitions of her that she wants the teachings of her Son preached to all people in all places.

She is aware of the problems of every era, including our own. She does not want to be shut off from the grave problems of nations or from the mundane difficulties of people. Her warnings prove that she will not be closed away from them or us.

It is not Mary's way to be shielded from sorrows and woe. She stood beneath the cross of her Son for three hours after having met him in His terrible agony on the way to Calvary. She learned the bad that mankind could do. She suffered as no woman has ever suffered before or since the Passion of Christ.

Until we of the present day fully realize Mary's capacity for sorrow and the all- encompassing nature of her universal Motherhood, we will continue to keep her apart from every aspect of living. That's not what she wants. More than anything, Our Lady wants to play a major role in the moral and spiritual life of every person alive.

A version of this article, from which this is adapted, first ran in Marian Helpers Bulletin, April-June 1963.

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