Thursday, September 08, 2016

The other Nativity

The story of the birth of Our Lady is recorded in the Protoevangelion of St James. It's blatantly obvious that this is not a book of the Bible and so it must be approached with a certain amount of caution, and cannot be used as an authority. Tradition says that Our Lady's parents are St Anne and St Joachim. This is more likely to be true. However, all the myths surrounding the birth of Our Lady are precisely that. From the beginning, Our Lady is enshrouded with mystery.

One might think that she is surrounded by clouds that come from the lack of knowledge, clouds that can be blown away by scientific endeavour. Yet this is not quite the case: Science cannot answer questions of History: if a historical record is lost forever, then it can only be known by its effects. If there are no effects and the historical record is lost, then it as if the event never really happened.

However, Our Lady is not clothed with clouds that obscure our vision. She is clothed with the Sun. The light of her Divine offspring prevents us from gazing at her. We only found out enough about the planet Mercury when we were able to send spacecraft there. Its proximity to the Sun made observation very, very difficult. Our Lady is more so. Like St John the Baptist, she seeks to decrease so that her Son increases. Her proximity to the Lord means that her being is eclipsed by her Son.

It matters to us THAT she was born, not the manner of her birth. Were she not born, she would not be a human being. Were she not born a woman, she could not be a mother. Were she not a mother, she would not have a son. We have her words, though precious few that are recorded Biblically. The last words the Bible records her saying are "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." Her birth is the beginning of a life that fulfills this saying and this devotion to her Son gives her the authority to tell the world to be obedient. That obedience brings us to the Cross, to the piercing of the Soul, and the opening of the being to the grace of God.

Our Lady's life is full of grace, and life begins at conception and is revealed at birth. At her Nativity, we see the light of this grace begin to shine, blinding us to the life of Our Lady apart from Her Son. Too much ink has been spilt on forensic analysis of her life. All she wants us to know is her Son and so she is happy to be forgotten by history so that we can be endeavour to be as devoted to her Son as she is. She will take us by the hand to bring us to Him if we allow her, but she wants no attention from us that will distract us from the One who gives grace.

Hail Holy Queen!

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