On this feast day of Immaculate Conception, Catholics awake with a recognition that there is privilege on this day. With lightened hearts and steps we rise and flock to Church, almost giddily, in a peculiar mood anticipating an encounter with a fair and exulted lady. Corners around usual anxieties and irritations seem to lose their sharpness, voices soften, greetings more sincere, dour thoughts recedes into distance...All on account that we have just given ourselves over to a most gracious and fair Ambassador, and she will see to the security of our hidden desires and dreams.
Much theology has been written on the Church's Marian doctrines. Beautiful, they are. But concept and intellect pale against the experience of standing in Mass, singing our love for this Lady of singular beauty, the one who bore the Savior in her womb and raised him lovingly. It is this experience, blood and flesh, that gives me goose bumps. Here I am, amongst many, sharing the very same affection children have for their mother, secure in the knowledge that all will be well. That recognition is world apart from any theory or intellectual appropriation. Knowledge thus freely given, not acquired, is why it is blessed. And one knows it beyond any doubt when one is blessed.
The priest who said Mass this morning is from India. Yet what he spoke was the same affection, the same love. I did not feel the least apart from him, in spite of his heavy accent; he is my brother because we have the same mother.
I love you, Blessed Mother!