Yet another great feast day! Today the Church begins the year with Mary the Mother of God. (The painting at left is Franz Dvorak's Purity and Passion. I thought the title and face and lilies appropriate for young Mary.)
This is from Adrienne von Speyer, a Swiss doctor, mystic, and stigmatist. She died in 1967 and is one of the most intriguing, if obscure, Catholic writers of the 20th century.
"The incomparability of Mary's fruitfulness lies in the fact that her assent is definitively and indissolubly housed in God. It is true that the rest of us, in an impulse of enthusiastic love, promise to belong entirely to him, to sacrifice everything to him, to be eternally faithful to him and, by our renunciation, to lead as many people as possible to him. And this assent, as far as it is true, does not lack fruitfulness; it is, after all, the human response to the Lord's invitation to place our life in the service of the world's redemption ...
"With Mary it is completely different; in speaking her assent, she experienced the essential death, and she has died so completely to herself that she lives only in her Son and for him. God did not first have to take her life away in order to break her resistance to his life, to redeem her completely and finally; from the very beginning he can deposit the life of his Son within her, knowing that the Mother will always live her life in service to the Son, as a function of his life. Nothing in her opposes the redemptive action of the Son; rather, everything places itself at his disposal to further and enhance it."