Mary; woman, not womb…

Advent, day ten.

Mary, mother of God has been venerated throughout Christendom. The tradition I grew up within was however very suspicious of Mary. She was after all, not God- she was just a girl. Praying to Mary (as was common in Roman Catholic traditions) was regarded as heresy. To us, Mary was a footnote, merely offering a willing womb.

I read this article today, which said this;

It’s Advent, and the same old lies about Mary are slipping over pulpits and out of parish letters, Christmas cards, public prayers, TV holiday movies, and late night comics’ jokes.The subjugation of Mary, the maligning of her as meek, mild, and mindless, has been harmful to millions of women over many centuries.

Hiding within the wonder of Christmas are a thousand years of doctrinal female subjugation, doctrines that, like tinsel, are dripped all over the season of Christmas. In the midst of the celebration of Wonderful Life, these malicious ideas keep women from feeling empowered, invited to be strong, and urged by God to imagine new ways to live, as Mary of Nazareth did, who mothered God’s redemption of the human world.

Read the article, particularly for its rather interesting description of the meaning of the word originally translated as ‘virgin’…

So, today’s poem remembers Mary. Not for her meekness, but for her grace and bravery.

mary-1

 

Mary

 

Where you born already divine;

A scrap of human flesh with a

God only skin deep?

 

Or did the shape of Messiah-

The mewling lion of Judah

Need nurture?

 

At the breast of this mother

Scarcely beyond child herself

You took in milk

 

What sort of woman

Might school the star maker?

Whose sharp words

 

Could cut through a

Heavenly tantrum like a

Shaft of light through shadow?

 

Did she teach the turning of

The other cheek against some teenage

Provocation?

 

Or perhaps this was always the point-

Power and might made tender flesh

The highest now most lowly

 

The filling up of hungry mouth

The arms that hold

The pride at a first step

 

The learning and the loving

The pulse of blood in fragile vein

The summer cough

 

From this material

A man was made

Who was also Messiah

 

 

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