It's the start of the Church year, and it's the time of year that I always equate with STORIES. Luke, the Gospel writer, is my favorite story teller, and it's his voice that brings Advent.
One of my favorite authors, Fr Andrew Greeley, writes that it's the stories that make him love being Catholic. He writes:
It is, of course, the story of Mary the Mother of Jesus who represents the mother love of God, the truth that while God loves us in many different ways, She also loves us the way a mother who holds a new born child in her arms loves that child. Any religious heritage with such a story is well nigh irresistible to its members. If the love of the mother for her child to whom she has given life and is about to nurse is a valid metaphor for what creation and life and death are about, then that is very good news indeed, perhaps too good to be true, but true nonetheless.
And Advent is about Mary.
Mary who said "yes" to God, even though saying so might have resulted in her death.
Mary who gave birth to the Savior of the world -- and she did so knowing His life would not be easy.
Mary who interceded for the bridal couple, and urged her Son to perform the first miracle of His ministry, the changing of water to wine in Cana.
Mary who stood at the foot of the cross and watched her beloved Son suffer and die.
Mary who witnessed His resurrection.
Mary, for me and many others, is the link to Christ's life and death. She provides the human connection to the Divine. Her misery I can understand. Her love I can absorb. Her sacrifice I can recognize.
And so tonight, like every other during Advent, I will end my day with this prayer:
Hail Mary, full of Grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.Research it; it's scriptural. Pray it; it's comfort-giving. Live it; it's Truth.