Day 6

Lately I’ve been reading the book Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy by J. Neville Ward. It’s a weird book (the author is a Methodist minister–not that Methodist ministers are weirder than anyone else), but while I may disagree with minor details, he’s dead on with most of his points about the rosary and his mediations on the mysteries. Here’s one passage that struck me (from his discussion of the last of the Glorious mysteries, the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin):

The title “Ever-Virgin” draws on ancient forms of expression in man’s long struggle to say what the divine must be and indicates thoughts for which we would use other terms, though they might well be no more effective. It means that, her son being who he is, we see her as one called into a single, exclusive, unrepeatable part of the service of God, as being wholly involved in this spiritually and physically, hearing the word of God and keeping it with all her heart and soul and strength.

Its meaning extends in the thought of an emptiness of self that waits for God alone to fill it, a faith that endures losses and unmet longings and ungranted prayers, without running to compensations and distractions to fill the void, because it believes that God will give himself and his meaning in his own time. The Christian mind in meditation finds the Virgin Mary meaning this absolute openness to God and aspires to it, wants to breathe its free yet dedicated atmosphere.

And most deeply, as the ultimate fulfillment of God’s purpose begins in Jesus, there is a sense in which it also begins in Mary, so that she is a sign of the first light of that kingdom of heaven where Jesus said there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage but only the fullness of love that transcends all the limitations and predilections of temporal sexuality(161-162).


~ by Jen on September 26, 2006.

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