Thursday, May 02, 2013

Ordinary mystics

It's May, the month of May crownings (and in my Augustinian parish, St. Rita's Triduum) and final exams and graduations and tomato planting time....but what if God came calling while I was emptying the dishwasher?  Thomas Merton suggests the gift of such intimate encounters with God are "part of the normal equipment of Christian sanctity."  Is there such a thing as an ordinary mystic?  And are we brave enough to pray for the gift — or at least the desire for the gift?

"I sometimes wonder just what Mary was doing when the angel Gabriel appeared. Was she out for a long walk in the hills? Stopping to rest for a moment while hauling a heavy water jar from the village well? Or was she in the kitchen? Luke’s gospel tells us nothing. Whatever she had planned for that moment, for that day, I’m almost certain she did not imagine an angelic visitation. 
'How can this be?' she asked Gabriel. I can almost hear her thoughts, 'What are you doing here, in my kitchen, on this hillside, on the cool damp steps up from the well? Right now?'"
You can read the rest at Phaith....the photo is of my mother in roughly 1940, crowning Mary in her First Communion dress and veil, note the sea of identically veiled heads in the foreground!

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting way of looking at the Annunciation? So many pictures show her kneeling in prayer or sitting at leisure but I suspect your possibilities are much more probable.

    The picture of your mom is wonderful! I miss Mays of years gone by. My mother had a statue of Mary on a table in the foyer and we were tasked with keeping the vase full during the month of May. When we were very young - dandelions were the flower of choice but as we grew older, we were more discerning in our choices - often lily of the valley or daffodil/tulip - whatever was available.