Monday, March 21, 2016

On Conversation With Mary

Most of the Rosary meditations I've come across are kind of sappy. Sometimes this makes the Rosary feel impossible to connect with, especially when one attempts to pray it through the lens of "difficulties" such as depression or anxiety.

As I was sitting here with my own Rosary at my side, I got to thinking about how a more... "realistic"  meditation might sound. For instance, today is Monday and that means the Joyful Mysteries are on deck. The first Joyful mystery is the Annunciation. The Archangel Gabriel comes to Mary, tells her she's found favor with God & oh, by the way, she's going to have a baby. In your average meditation,  Mary simply says "O.K." (which is the modern day equivalent of  "Be it done unto me according your word"). Well alrighty then. End of story. However, if an angel came & delivered the same news to me, I'd probably scream some profanities & knock things over on my way out of the house. I definitely wouldn't be saying "Yes" in any shape or form. Fear would tumble down like an avalanche threatening to bury me & I'd probably just plop down somewhere & cry.

I know I would end up focusing on my temporal fear of the Annunciation & all it required of me rather than what eternal good came of it. And this would be an honest response, but not especially fruitful. The Rosary is not all about me or my anxiety, etc. (Shocker, I know). Its a prayer in which one "keeps Mary company" and its meant to be a conversation. So imagine, if you will, Mary & I chatting about the joyful mysteries... kind of like cracking open the family album.  She shows me the 1st yellowed Poloroid: The Annunciation. What does she say? "Look! There's Gabe. What a corker. Scared me half to death. I thought he was pulling my leg... telling me I was going to have a baby! I was all, what?"

In all seriousness though, I really do wonder how she would tell it. Scripture says she was perplexed & Gabriel told her not to fear. So maybe she had some... misgivings at first. Maybe she would take my hand in hers in an attempt to address my fear. And then maybe she'd remind me of what Paul said about Jesus in Philippians 2:5-8, 12-15... 

Let the same mind be in you that was  in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. 
Therefore, my beloved... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.

Mary also emptied herself by taking the form of a slave. She humbled herself & became obedient to God, dying to her wants... She had her whole life ahead of her, but she chose to work out her salvation with fear & trembling. She realized that it was God Who was at work in her, enabling her to both will & work for His good pleasure. She was afraid too, but she said "Yes" without murmuring or arguing...

In a more realistic Rosary meditation, Mary becomes a companion who intercedes for me, faces the fear with me & reveals the mystery of God's wisdom & love both for me & for the world.

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