By Sister M. Martha Pavelsky
In what sense was she “blessed”? I think of a French word that looks similar—blesse—but gives us more to ponder: It’s a word that means wounded.
Now that is accurate. Mary’s involvement in God’s plan was profoundly wounding. Reread the first four chapters of Luke’s gospel, plus other mentions of Mary further on and see how obscure, terrifying, horrifying Mary’s life was at times.
Their boy was not an easy responsibility. Like most offspring, he made life “interesting” to an extreme extent. Parents who look on anxiously as their children navigate life’s tricky passages might find it helpful to reflect on those rough spots and converse with Mary.
A Wounded Life
How blessed exactly did she feel when her 12-year-old went AWOL in Jerusalem, or when his buddies sent word for her to come and get him because he was “talking crazy”?
Thinking along these lines about the Blessed Mother helps me to understand why my mother and so many other women (and men) raising children today still turn to Mary for inspiration. Her life was anything but a holy card in pastels and gilt. Even though she herself was sinless, the sin-pervading the world touched and wounded her life repeatedly, and she, like us, had no choice but to live it out moment by moment with no idea how it would end.
Sound familiar? If you intend to follow God’s plan for living, reckon with what that might require of you, and pray for Mary’s courage to stick with your commitment!