Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Assumption Countdown ~ Day Three

Mary and the Infant Jesus in Islam

LOSING THINGS IS A CONSTANT SOURCE of complaint and frustration. We lose our glasses and keys. We lose our teeth, a night's sleep, and sometimes we need to lose some weight. We can lose a friend, a spouse, muscle tone, youthful good looks, our way on a trip or our place in a line. Someone may say, I'm losing my mind! To be human is to know loss. But God is never a loser.

In her Assumption, Mary is taken up to God, even in her body. Nothing is lost to God - even in death. We're that important to God. Father Timothy Radcliffe writes: "Christ's friendship, stronger than the cross, renews the believer."

In the Assumption we see the full expression of divine love. "I believe in the Resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come," we pray in the Sunday Creed. In the image of the Persian Mary here, she is dressed in shades of gold. And gold represents the finished work. Mary's Assumption addresses each of us personally, about ourselves: Get ready for this!

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P.S. The Infant Christ sits in his Mother's arms in a burst of flame. Remembering the words of Brother Roger of Taize: "Stay close to the fire, which is Christ, and eventually even the thorns of your life will burst into flame." See the post of July 22: Even The Thorns Of Your Life.

The lush tree on the top right of the image isn't there for decoration but is a reminder perhaps of the simile found in Psalm 1 - that the one who delights in the ways of the Lord is like "a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither; and whatever it bears comes to maturity."

Finally, the Holy Mother sits on a little decorated carpet which has a heavenly feel to it. It is as if she is sitting in a miniature sanctuary. The fence behind the Mother and Child extends that sense of enclosure or sanctuary. It is very lovely, inviting a prayerful intimacy.

1 comment:

  1. Mary, or Maryam, is the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran. Islamic tradition considers Mary the most blessed and prominent of women. On that we can agree.