Third Thought of the Day

My head is dizzy with images.  Songs.  Thoughts.  Thoughts about the Virgin.  Thoughts about devotion.  About putting devotion into words when I am so filled with images and songs.  The Virgin and Child.  The Virgin of Rocamadour in a tub.  Tomie dePaola's illustrations of the story of the tumbler who juggled before the image of the Virgin.  Songs.

I am tempted to start Googling for links.  But then I would get lost in the thicket again and lose the images.  The Virgin as a pillar of ivory.  The Virgin smiling at her Son.  The Virgin protecting her devotees.  A woman delivered of a dead child.  A child in a glass furnace.  A child murdered because he sang.  A woman who lost her pet bird and "went into a rage every bit as violent as if she were present at the funeral of one of her children."†  A knight who teased his pregnant wife that he had been unfaithful to her so that she stabbed herself in the stomach.  And lived.

So many stories.  So much devotion and love.  What does devotion mean?  Saying the "Ave, Maria" and filling Mary with joy.  I want to write about this.  I want to find the still center of the turning circle out of which to write about the love that Mary had for her Son, about the love that God had for his Mother, about the love that her Son has for us.  Without getting saccharine.  Without making it seem as if devotion were easy.

Or hard.  Devotion is love.  And love is neither easy nor hard.  Love is listening.  Our world needs a theology of listening.  Of being listened to.  Of being loved. 

†Marcus Bull, The Miracles of Our Lady of Rocamadour (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1999), p. 150.

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