Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mary with the Eight-Pointed Star

HERE IS A PARTICULARLY BEAUTIFUL PAINTING OF THE MOTHER OF GOD with her Incarnate Son. Mary has a good hold on the Infant so as not to drop him. Perhaps the iconographer is telling us that this is how God loves us - with two hands, like a careful Mother.

The Divine Infant is wearing a dark blue shirt with gold stars. His outside cloak is almost orange and gold sparks are shooting through it. These spark-like lines of gold are called assiste. They reveal that Jesus is totally human, but also divine. Jesus is God with a human face!

Mary is wearing a soft white veil underneath the dark one. It is the kind of veil a bride would wear on her wedding day. Mary is God's Bride. And when God, husband-like, loves Mary, Jesus is born. He's called Saviour as he has set out to preserve each of us from own worst un-doing.
"Great is the might and power a beautiful woman has over a man who is in love with her...she causes him to rave and to go out of his mind...the Virgin (Mary) could do this with God Himself." Saint Lawrence of Brindisi 1619
Notice as well that Jesus is holding a scroll in his left hand. And while the scroll contains his teaching, it is rolled up tightly. Even before he asks anything of us, Jesus' first desire is to bless us and our families. All the while he is looking at us. Even though his head is tilted, we can see his face in full relatedness and with a sweet smile. God's smile. We smile back at him.

Mary is elegant in this image. She has tender eyes that look out at our world with understanding and hope. She wants only that we would love her Son. She wears a regally decorated  maphorion (veil and mantle). The cloak is dark because she comes from the earth like us. Only Jesus' cloak glows with the golden sparks of divinity.

Notice too that Mary is wearing a large pin by her heart that keeps her cloak fixed. It has an eight-pointed star on it. Some stars have five points, like the fifty stars on the flag of the United States. Some stars have six points, like the blue star on Israel's flag. But Mary's eight-pointed star is a symbol of the Queen of Heaven. In symbology the eight-pointed star means regeneration or new life. In Mary, who gives us Jesus the God-Man, we find new life: our growing-up, our greening, our personal evolution, our theosis or becoming like God by sharing God's energies. The Pentecost prayer says: "Kindle in us the fire of your love."  There it is!

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