Sometimes, you know what you have to do before you know why you should do it, before you have thoughts or words. For several months, I’ve been thinking about how to relate to my 38-year-old former pastor. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison this year, after admitting that he had child pornography on his computer and cellphone. Before he was arrested, I had a warm relationship with my pastor. He had done much good for the parish. We were on the school board together. We chatted after Mass. He has sent me letters from prison, but I have not responded; not yet. I don’t know what to say. More here...
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary. This is surprising, because I’ve never been “into” Mary. Or rather, I’m just not into traditional Marian piety. The Marian virtues hailed throughout my childhood annoyed me, and she looks so weak and pasty in most of those old holy cards. Even the celebrated paintings of Mary, weeping and fainting at the foot of the cross, fail to move me. I feel sorry for Mary, yes; but I never cottoned to her like I did to Jesus.
Then, last week, I read a passage in Fr. Ron Rolheiser’s new book, Sacred Fire, that forced me to revise my image of Mary. Rolheiser tells us that many great artists got the crucifixion scene wrong. The gospel writers clearly tell us that Mary “stood” close to the cross, indicating a position of strength and power. They never describe Mary as prostrate or keening. More here...