Mark Hart

Who Was Mary?: A Reflection on the Mother of God

This month of May… dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary – offers us a unique opportunity to deepen our contemplative prayer life.

Just as Mary pondered all the early events surrounding Jesus in her heart (Luke 2:19), we are invited to contemplate what the Holy Spirit chose to inspire and share with us regarding Mary – not only as Christ’s mother – but as our own (John 19:27).

Below is part of a reflection I wrote some time ago that I recently rediscovered. Perhaps it will bless your own contemplative prayer life:

  • What traits do you look for in a mother? What traits would God look for in a woman to mother His only Son? The Scriptures may paint the portrait but the brush belongs to God.
  • The Holy Spirit moves the most intimate inspiration. A woman created, a woman set apart. She stands as a model of chastity, of inner beauty, of humility and of purity; the golden vessel, chosen to carry the most important life the world will ever know.
  • Are we not called everyday to live for God? Did she not model openness to God the Father in every conceivable way? Did she leave any doubt that God’s will was more important than her own? Did she run when it was difficult? Did she flee from discomfort? Did she trust in God even when the future was uncertain?
  • Did she hide Him away or share Him with the world?
  • Are we not called to offer the Lord our bodies… in every way… for His glory? Did she not allow our Lord to live within her? Did she not know Jesus more intimately than anyone else on Earth, even His closest followers?
  • She swaddled Him. She nursed Him. She guided Him through his early years. She stood beside Him… never abandoning Him… even in the most difficult moments.
  • Now as our Mother, would she ever abandon us? God created her. He Preserved her. He picked her. He descended upon her. He grew within her.
  • Jesus listened to her, loved her, and honored her above any other. Not because she wanted it but because she deserves it… because she is different. It was her ‘yes’ to God that set His brothers and sisters back on the right path. It was her ‘fiat’ – her yes – that forever changed the world. ‘May it be done to me according to Thy will’ (Luke 1:38). One ‘yes’ opened the door to hope: hope in salvation, hope for life after death, and hope for even the most wretched of sinners.
  • And Christ shows us how to love her. He wants us to know her, to admire her, to respect her and to trust her as our own, so He entrusted us to her and then gave her to each of us. He wants us to know and experience the love that only a Mother can give – that only His Mother … the Mother of God – created and chosen by God, can give.
  • God invites you to get to know her, to meditate on her heart as a window into His own. He calls us to honor her, modeling her humility, her openness, her chastity, and her abandonment.
  • Just as our Blessed Mother reflects Jesus’ light more radiantly and more fully than any other human in history, so we are called – as children of our Blessed Mother – as children of the light, to reflect and radiate the love and heart of Christ to all the world.
  • In the light, it began with a courageous young teenage woman.In the light, God became man and walked among us.In the light of a bright Sunday sunrise, death was destroyed forever.

    In the light of the Spirit’s flame, a beautiful young Church was born.

  • And it is in the light still today that we truly become brothers and sisters – sons and daughters – that we become the family of God that we were formed, designed and created to be… one holy, pleasing, and perfect family… encountering the Divine love of the Blessed Father, His Blessed Son, and, indeed, our Blessed Mother.
Mark Hart

About the Author

My childhood plan was to be a jedi. My teenage plan was to be on Saturday Night Live. God's plan was to have me in ministry. God won - and I'm glad He did.