At a bible study recently, I was asked what I thought about the Virgin Mary. Not an easy question to answer and, in this case, I was particularly bumbling I think. Part of the difficulty is due to the intersection of several large areas of discourse: ecclesiology, gender roles in modern society, the Church both militant and victorious, marriage, and the specific position of the Virgin Mary within the Church. I ended up emphasizing Mary as ‘icon of the Church’ but I’m not at all sure if that came close to answering Bill’s question.
One of the blogs I read regularly has started a series related to this: over at The Roman Road, Nikki remarks that
For me, it was overwhelming to find a place where motherhood was affirmed without reservations or exceptions; it’s not just a patronizing nicety that the Church offers. I haven’t even gotten to the matter of Mary yet, which I’ll address later in this series. I will say that the fact that Catholics embrace Mary, rather than sweeping her under the rug as a footnote (except at Christmas, of course) lends to a more respectful view of motherhood.