Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pictures of Mother Mary

I haven't been dedicating enough of my blog posts to Mary, Our dear Mother lately (or for that matter, to any topics pertaining to my Faith).  I was reminded of this recently while reading my daughter-in-law's blog, which has been given a new title with great significance. It is now called "Morning Glory" (formerly "Knit 1 Pearl 2"), in reference to the book 33 Days to Morning Glory, which she and my son have been using as a guide to consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary.

In the early days of my blogging, way back in 2011, I made up a CD filled with pictures of the Blessed Mother that I'd found on-line--thinking they might come in handy somewhere down the line for Faith-themed  blog posts.  But as is often the case with things I decide to put in a "really safe place," I just stumbled upon this CD a couple of days ago while I was puttering around in my basement office.  I loaded the CD onto my computer to view it, and it was like looking through one of our family albums filled with half-forgotten but well-loved photos of our boys (from their babyhood days through the many stages of their inexorable march toward manhood).

And that got me thinking: She is family.  She is our beloved Mother, my beloved Mother.   And She loves us--loves me--more than any human mother possibly could.  We human mothers love our children so intensely that we can't conceive of a greater love than ours; so that's a hard concept, sometimes, to wrap our earth-bound brains around.

Here is a picture of Mother Mary with Her arm around Her beloved Son.  This one is lovely and it really moves me.
And here's another, of Mary as Our Lady of Grace--the image that is engraved on the Miraculous Medal I always wear around my neck, strengthened and comforted by Mary's promise that "graces will abound for persons who wear [it] with confidence."
Images of the Madonna and Child are always so beautiful and touching, but I think the one below is particularly wonderful.  Jesus is so real here, with his rolls of baby fat, sleeping peacefully in the crook of His Mother's arm.  Mary is so real here, too--so obviously in love with Her precious Baby Boy.
Mary is the epitome of the feminine ideal--gentle, kind, humble, and modest (a role model for all women)--and this next painting portrays those traits so perfectly.
Many years ago, I got into a discussion with a non-Catholic (a borderline anti-Catholic) who parotted the timeworn accusation that Catholics worship statues and paintings.  I didn't do a very good job of disputing his claim, because I hadn't seen the turn the conversation was about to take and I was unprepared.  My response was about as effective as a little kid saying with a pout, "Nuh uh!"  I wish I could say my piece now, though, because I've had about 20 years to think about it, and this is what I would tell this person: beautiful images of Our Lord, His Blessed Mother, and the saints--such as the ones on this page today--are meant to be reminders of loved ones, just as the pictures of my children in our family photo albums are reminders.  I don't worship the baby pictures in my albums, and they don't take the place of my actual children.  But those pictures make me think about my most precious gifts from God; they fill me with warmth and love and the desire to pick up my phone and call or send a text--right that minute, while the spirit is moving me.

So it is with religious statues and paintings: they are reminders for faithful Christians.  And sometimes, we need reminders in our lives.  Sometimes we need to stumble upon a beautiful image of our Mother Mary to remember that She loves us and She's always there when we need Her, and that She is deserving of our attention.  Maybe we need reminders every now and then, in the form of beautiful works of religious art, so that our spirits will be moved and we'll remember to pray.

(If you want to enter the ornament giveaway, this is the last day.  Send me your guesses by 5:00 p.m.)


  1. My favorite is the second to last. Gorgeous. Though I'm not Catholic, I think images of Mary and Jesus are beautiful and inspiring, and I'd think they would be to all faithful Christians, no matter what denomination. My parents had one in our home growing up that they've given to us and I really love it. Thanks for sharing these beautiful images with us!

    1. I think the second to last is my favorite, too. :)

      Hey, I was reading "Cedars and Tiny Flowers" last night and was tickled to see your name in the "Comments" section, and that you and Katrina have so much in common. It's a small world, isn't it?

    2. By the way, Kate--your comment made me realize that "faithful Christians" is the way I should have phrased it in that last paragraph, so I made the change.

    3. Yes, Katrina's comment on one of your posts jumped out at me so I went to check out her adorable blog! Turns out we lived in the same dorm, which is why I recognized her! Isn't that so funny? So thanks for your role in connecting us!

      I like the small change you made--only because all of us need the reminders you speak of! I certainly need reminders to pray and reminders of the kind of love that Mary gave to her Son. I loved your last paragraph, it's beautiful.