Friday, March 20, 2009

Finding the Calm

Have you read Marialis Cultus (For the Right Ordering and Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary), by Paul VI? Don't feel badly if the answer is no...I only picked it up recently because, well, because I was doing research and it was there and...yeah, you see how it is. Church documents always seem so...intimidating, so hard-to-understand, so inaccessible to me.

I've discovered few things could be farther from the truth. Granted, I haven't attempted Aquinas or Augustine, but Marialis Cultus is a gem and Paul VI has a style that's...well, I don't know. It's deep, yes, but it's also enjoyable. I wouldn't call it easy reading, but it was well worth my time.

In paragraph 57, he writes:
Contemplated in the episodes of the Gospels and in the reality which she already possesses in the City of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary offers a calm vision and a reassuring word to modern man, torn as he often is between anguish and hope, defeated by the sense of his own limitations and assailed by limitless aspirations, troubled in his mind and divided in his heart, uncertain before the riddle of death, oppressed by loneliness while yearning for fellowship, a prey to boredom and disgust. She shows forth the victory of hope over anguish, of fellowship over solitude, of peace over anxiety, of joy and beauty over boredom and disgust, of eternal visions over earthly ones, of life over death.
How often do you find yourself torn? When do you find yourself facing the smallness of yourself, the boundaries of what you can do, the impossibility of life? Where are you divided, by a tough decision, by a faith choice, by a concern?

Paul VI reminds me to turn to Mary, who offers hope and peace. I can feel her cool hand on my fevered brow when I read that phrase "calm vision and reassuring word." Isn't that just what we all need nowadays?