" I implore you, my child; observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that mankind comes into being in the same way..." 2 Maccabees 7:28

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Someone once asked my sister about why Catholics pray to Mary and she gave a response that has remained with me for some years. She said that God's love is like an ocean, and Mary is like an empty bottle in the ocean- completely filled with Gods love, but when you are contained in that bottle, you are somehow safer.

I love that- it is such a strong visual! There are times when God's love feels so dangerous- swept up this way and then that, riding on the crest of the waves one moment only to be thrust to the floor the next, choking in darkness for each breath... is there is no limit to what he may ask of us? And it is so hard to conceive of this love of His which does not protect us from suffering! Yet Mary, so small and contained; like glass, solid, yet fully penetrated by light, somehow in her protection we are spared some of the dreaded impact, though we may still feel the dizzying rise and fall.

We had a pet cockatiel once- her name was Frannie and she was so tame! Although her wings were not clipped, she chose to walk around the house like one of us. We would be sitting in the dining room talking and she would come- we could hear the tiny click of her little claws on the linoleum and soon her little gray head would peep around the corner. She was so fearless, that little bird! She would navigate under the table with all the big, noisy feet and the grinding wheels on the bottom of our chairs until she found someone wearing shoelaces,then begin her climb to our shoulder. Starting with the shoelace she would work her way up, inch by inch. And when she finally got to our shoulder she would just squawk until she got the attention she felt was owed her. She might try to steal food off your plate once she was there, or perhaps she would pull chew on your necklace or earrings. But the most endearing thing she would do was to rub her soft little gray head on your cheek or under your chin- I remember when she would do that I wanted nothing more than to hug her with all my might, but my love would've killed her. So the best I could do was kiss the top of her little head- you could barely feel her under your lips, just the slght warmth of her feathers.

That must be how God feels about us.

It is late, and I'm tired. Thanks for reading my thoughts- disconnected though they may be.

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