Monday, August 13, 2007
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Solution
It is the Blessed Virgin Mary that is the solution to the paradox posed by the story of Saints Mary and Martha, as this beautiful painting by Rembrandt (1645) of the reading Virgin rocking Jesus in His cradle, suggests.
Another painting that suggests this is the Master of Flemalle's Annunciation in the Cloisters in New York. Here, in the central panel of the triptych, Mary is reading in the main room of her home, a scene that shows an ordered domestic life with an iconography (the lily and water) that point to the purity of soul of the Blessed Virgin. In this state of contemplation after work is done, the Archangel Gabriel comes and the Holy Spirit descends upon her for the miracle of the Incarnation. The combination seems to offer a state in which we are open to God's message.
Tea at Trianon quotes from Saint Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) also points the way to the solution to the problem of women's many roles by pointing to the Blessed Virgin; "Whether she is a mother in the home, or occupies a place in the limelight of public life, or lives behind quiet cloister walls, she must be the handmaid of the Lord everywhere. So had the Mother of God been in all the circumstances of her life....Were each woman an image of the Mother of God, a Spouse of Christ, an apostle of the Divine Heart, then would each fulfill her feminine vocation no matter what conditions she lived in and what worldly activity absorbed her life. (Collected Works, Vol 2)."