Today is very dark, very rainy. Did I mention it was very dark… and very rainy? It. is. so. dark. It. is. so. rainy.
But certain things shine in the darkness, like the majestic goodness and kindness of Mary’s Son.
If I ever get around to writing the autobiography that I’ve been requested to write by so many throughout my life — with the first being my father when I was a youngster – I just might be able to describe some very near death experiences, you know, those times when you are certain that death is imminent, and it is except for an intervention of the Lord (and great guardian angels!).
I was once reprimanded by one of our past novice masters for having admitted to him — and he asked — admitted to him that I had not used words to pray to the Lord in the midst of a car accident I had been in on that terribly icy day, the terrible ice-storm of the early 1990s. I said that, instead, everything during that accident was totally calm, in slow motion, and that, although I didn’t use words, my spirit was indeed raised to the Lord in all child-like simplicity and trust. He reprimanded me and said that I should have used words! I guess one has to go through the experience to know what it is like, and he did, dying of brain cancer as a young priest just a few years later. Yikes!
Many other times, in calmer but no less deadly circumstances, being even minutes, seconds from death, I would, silly me, notice the tremendous beauty of a spider, so busy in his work, or the majesty of the clouds, all things, even my dire condition, being in the all embracing providence and permissive will of the Lord. In life, in death, we are the Lord’s, and all things work for the good of those who love Him by His grace.
I suppose some would condemn this simplicity as stupidity, not comprehending that being the simplest of little children of the Lord means that we do not count as so very important our lives here on earth compared to our doing His will, whether here or in heaven, and this so completely that, even in the face of death, one notices, with a heart that rejoices before our heavenly Father, His little acts of goodness and kindness, such as the provision of a spider-acrobat or tumbling clouds.
And then there is the hell of Calvary, with all hell broken loose, mayhem, mocking, spitting, hitting… Mary getting shoved and jostled and mocked… our Lord… Oh my… Our Lord!
And yet… totally calm. “Behold your Mother!” “Woman, behold your son!” — and then Jesus noticing the depth of the glance of Mary and John at each other and then back to Jesus. Did Jesus notice the tremendous motherliness of His mother? Did He notice the new majesty of her new son, John? Did He notice that she was still the “Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue,” as a lady on Cresson Mountain, Pennsylvania once wrote (as quoted by Archbishop Fulton Sheen)? I think He did. Love makes all things grow very calm, whatever mayhem there is. “All things with great serenity,” as Pope Benedict says. Yes, great serenity.
What a lovely video of Archbishop Sheen’s recitation of “Lovely Lady”… Totally awesome:
Did Mary notice utterly simple things amidst her grief and intercession for us? Did she notice, upon the death of her Son, the total appropriateness of the eclipse, and the earthquake, all in the spirit of the littlest child of our Heavenly Father? I think she did, but in a way that none of us will begin to comprehend, for she was always so perfectly doing the will of our Heavenly Father with such a pure heart and soul, as the Immaculate Conception.
And when her Son was dying, so was she, and that sword of sorrow piercing her heart at that moment was worse than a death that any and all of us put together could not begin to experience. And the things she noticed at that moment of death are forever beyond me for reasons other than that she could take in all things so very perfectly, for she did so as a mother. Only mothers know something of this. I could not even begin to guess at the intensity of the simplicity of that love which did not for a second lose sight of all the joyful times in their lives before Jesus’ public ministry, and during those few years on the road. She could still carry the joy of His Incarnation, of His birth, as only a mother can, particularly when one’s own Son is dying!
What a mother! And now they are together again in heaven. What a wonderful day in heaven. Mothers’ Day in heaven. Yikes! It’s not dark there, nor raining! Jesus’ goodness and kindness shine upon all. Happy Mother’s Day, Mary, you who are Jesus’ good mom, you who are that Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue!