I will print it in parts- spending some moments on the contents which I am sure, will inspire me to reflect and share my thoughts.
This precious writing was originally delivered to the Palmerston North Diocesan Conference of the Catholic Women's League by Patricia Hocqaurd of Wanganui, New Zealand, the author of this writing. This is her ode to Mary.
I, who am a middle aged woman, stand before you to speak of Our Lady.I have little knowledge of scripture, I am ashamed of my lack of piety, so I offer you no learned discourse, no spiritually uplifting treatise, I shall simply share with you my view of Mary, the Mother of God.
When I was young I saw Mary as a very romantic figure. My favourite image was of a beautiful young girl, with serene white face, blue eyes uplifted to heaven, long curling brown hair, smooth hands folded serenely on her breast, wearing a robe of the purest white embroidered in gold and covered with a pale blue cloak, - a lovely girl crowned witha circle of stars.
Now that I am older I do not think of her that way at all. At times in my life when God seems very remote and far away, I think of the humanness of Mary, and am comforted by the knowledge that this woman who experienced things in her life that women today experience, is with the Lord and that she will intercede for me. Mary was a woman of great virtue and holiness, but today I will speak of her HUMANNESS.
Mary as a human, Mary as a girl, Mary as 'one of us'.
In the Catholic Church we first and foremost honour and pray to God our Father, Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit - all three as One.
We also acknowledge the importance of Mary, the mother of Jesus and Joseph His earthly father and Mary's husband.
God wanted Jesus to have a mother and a father here on earth. He had his reasons for that. I also 'seek' Mary in my prayer life.
It was custom in my childhood years, for parents to add the name Mary to their children's chosen names. They did this as a tribute to Mary and also as an 'extra' support, as Mary was seen as Mother of all mothers. Who better to ask to keep an extra special eye on their child? My 3 brothers, my sister and I all carry her name.
My grandmother ( on maternal side) so loved Mary also that she used to encourage us to say 3 Hail Mary's before sleeping. This request has stayed with me all my years, I am 62 now. I admit to skipping nights - but also giving heed to that request. Especially when I have 'mother worries'.
It doesn't take much imagination to conjure up some HUMAN events in Mary's life. events that many woman face today.
The angel delivered the message of the Incarnation to a 14 year old Jewish girl. He told her she was going to bear a child who was the Son of God. The girl, Mary, accepted the will of the Lord.