Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mary, the Wisest Theologian

1.
Mary was the wisest theologian. (She was the Mother of the Word Who is at once the Theology of God and of Men.) God's Truth entered so deeply into her life as to become incarnate in her flesh. All Wisdom was centered in her heart, sedes Sapientiae. When the angel came to her at the An­nunciation he found her in deepest silence. Few words are recorded of her who gave us the Word. And when she had given him to the world, what should she do but listen to him? She kept all these words, treasuring them in her heart?

And so, in every way, Mary is the model of contemplatives and the mirror of mystics. Those who love the pure Truth of God instinctively love the simplicity of Mary. She draws them into the heart of her silence and of her humility. She is the virgin of solitude, whom God called His hermit - ana est colamba mea in foraminibus petrae. She hid in the caverns of the rock Saint John of the Cross.. She lived as a hermit in the lofty mysteries of her Son. She lived all the time in the sky, though she walked on the earth and swept floors and made beds and made supper for the carpenters.

What was happening in her unimaginably clear soul, in the stainless mirror of her being which God had made to receive His perfect likeness?

When the angel spoke, God awoke in the heart of this girl of Nazareth and moved within her like a giant. He stirred and opened His eyes and her soul saw that in containing Him she contained the world besides. The Annun­ciation was not so much a vision as an earthquake in which God moved the universe and unsettled the spheres, and the beginning and end of all things came before her in her deepest heart. And far beneath the movement of this silent cataclysm she slept in the infinite tranquility of God, and God was a child curled up who slept in her and her veins were flooded with His wisdom which is night, which is starlight, which is silence. And her whole being was em­braced in Him whom she embraced and they became tre­mendous silence."

- Thomas Merton, From The Ascent to Truth

2.
In the Holy Name of Allah, the Universally Merciful, Singularly Compassionate

Behold! the angels said: O Mary! Allah has chosen you and purified you - chosen you above the women of creation.

O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.

Behold! the angels said: O Mary, surely Allah gives you gospel (*) of a Word from Him; his name will be Messiah Isa, son of Mary (+), held in honor in this world and the hereafter and of the company of those nearest to Allah.

And he shall speak to the people when in the cradle and in his manhood, and he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.

She said: O My Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?! The Divine speaks: Even so, Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says unto it, Be! and it is.
- The Quran, from chapter 3

* the english word gospel originally means glad tidings or good news.
+ its remarkable that whenever Isa or Eesa (Christ's original aramaic name) is mentioned in Quran, Mary is honored by calling them together Jesus, the son of Mary (Eesa ibn Maryam). Thus Mother Mary is never made to forget whenever Jesus is mentioned. And Prophet Muhammad (s) taught to bring respect in heart by saying, "may peace and blessings of God be upon them both", whenever such noble and honored souls are mentioned.

3.
Let Thy word, God, become my life's expression.
- Hazrat Inayat Khan

image. persian miniature painting of mother mary and child christ
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