The thinking, "scientific" (in the good old sense) me sees the problem with this. Maybe we are deluded. Maybe it's a snare of the enemy. What possible canon is there to prove that this joy and "consolation" (which, we should never forget, meant strengthening - like comfort - long before it meant "there, there, you poor pitiful dear) is "valid"? I can think of none.
But part of what fuels these Marian posts is precisely the astonished sense we feelthy papists have that not only are we loved by the Lord who created and set into motion the distant stars and the particles which make the atom, but also by His Mother.
And, this is like a mother's love, in our experience.
Today is kind of a big day for American Catholics because we see a, what shall I say, spectacular, incomprehensibly generous gift in this apparition to a, let's face it, conquered peasant. And the sequel, almost inexplicably, is the conversion to Christianity (even if one thinks the Catholic version is a horrible perversion, one still has to admit that they heard bits of the Bible, they heard -- and believed -- a particle of the wonderful news of the astounding love of God.
Even if one thought of that as a poor beginning to something that would be made far better by Protestant ministrations, still it was a magnificent beginning when compared to sullen disbelief.
Today I was at a memorial Mass for a very wonderful woman who died rich in years and yet too soon. Because it was Our Lady of Guadalupe, there was a kind of barely suppressed Marian aspect to the service.
The sermon, whoever, amounted to a flinging of the gauntlet into Death's face. I listened carefully (the priest is a friend) and there was nothing there a Calvinist might not have said.
And yet I was consoled not only by the Gospel Truth, but (for me unexpected) sense that there was a mother's bosom into which I could weep, not just for the lady who had died, but for my own sins and fears and sorrows.
This gratuitous soothing is something I wish all my friends shared. And that wish is at least part of what drives these Marian posts. We have experiences which, at least in my case, we never expected or imagined. TO us it seems undeniable that they come through the loving intercession of Mary. So of course we want to share that.
One of the points that Kolokotronis has made to me before is that there is an element of emotional attachment involved with ‘Mariology’ that A) I obviously do not relate to, and B) makes it counterproductive to discuss.
I need to learn to avoid the temptation...for what I write is generally received right up there with “Your Mama wears combat boots!” and kills any productive discussion. It isn’t intended that way, but its like a happy mother showing you a picture of her baby, and you replying, “Looks like a little red faced dwarf!” True or not, you don’t advance anything.
Maybe someday I will learn...