While I did manage to talk Jim into running a 10k once, short of manipulation I have few ideas as how to convince my spouse to do all that Joseph did for Mary. This is no insult to my better half. He attributes much of his vocation to marriage as being in the hands of Our Lady, so clearly he is willing to take on a mission of dramatic proportions. I’m just thankful there is always plenty of room availability in the maternity ward.
Ever since sweet, sweet Olivia asked me to reflect about Mary’s virtue of Angelic Sweetness, I’ve been thinking about how seemingly easily Mary, the most non manipulative woman to ever exist, can convince so many men and woman to do just about anything.
While I’m no scholar, to me, Mary’s Angelic Sweetness is what makes her so incredibly irresistible.
And don’t we all want to feel just a little bit more irresistible?
So let’s look at Salve Regina. ;)
Mary, in possession of the virtue of Angelic Sweetness, radiates joy and peace to those she encounters. Through this ability to communicate God’s requests to the hearts of men, God’s will, even with its inherent duty of the cross, is an invitation impossible to refuse.
At first thought of Angelic Sweetness, I concentrated on the etherial, youthful side of angel and the delicious part of sweet. This is the side of Mary that undoubtedly giggles every time my kids throw her a birthday party, put a party hat on her statue’s head, or accidentally smear carrot cake on its feet. Or when my CCD kids insisted that they draw the image of the Blessed Mother of God wearing high heel stilletos and sequins, or in a Pittsburgh Penguins Jersey with ice skates. Like the angels, she is light, not in substance, but because she understands what is important and lets go of the rest, including a 7 year olds understanding of heavenly fashion. She accepts us where we are and makes us comfortable, yet gently reminds us to be better.
I think it is this light and sweet side of Mary that draws us in to desire the will of God, maybe even when we least expect it. Like a chocolate cake at the end of a 7 course meal; we might not even know we can fit anymore until we set our eyes on its savory goodness. And while I’m hesitant to write a sentence comparing a soul’s encounter with the Blessed Mother to the marvel of pairing chocolate cake and elastic pants, I’m doing it.
Yet, Angelic Sweetness is also virtue of fiercely powerful feminine strength, of which Mary is the epitome. The angels, etherial in their beauty, light and swift in their form and approach, are also fierce protectors of God’s eternal plan. God’s will is so important, so precious, so delicate, that the angels waged war against one of their own who threatened to ruin it.
Mary may not be waging war like her angel friend Gabriel did. But, as a new mom with a little guy, I can say with confidence, I’m willing to bet her fierceness might display itself if someone goes after what her baby wants.
Sadly, I think if we polled women and asked “name a fiercely feminine figure,” responses would probably indicate Beyonce or angels of the Victoria kind. I think this might be because “irresistible” tends to be understood in terms of big boobs, tiny waists, and Kim Kardashian’s slippery bum. Our culture does seem to understand that there is something better. But, “better,” is usually in the prospect of experiencing a more gratifying sexual escapade, or being the one in possession of the body that can grant it. No offense to Queen B, but, I think the Queen of Heaven would like the word Fierce back. Because no matter how hot, sexy, talented, funny, rich, or charming that we are, the only thing that will really gratify us to the point of fulfillment is the will of God in our lives.
So often, I think of Mary as a stoic figure, always walking toward receiving the bloody remains of her son’s body at the foot of the cross. That image is surely not one to ever be forgotten, yet it ought not overshadow the depth and savory sweetness of her joy, the power of her strength, the irresistible nature of her beauty that is neither deceptive in its charm or fleeting in its presence. Mary’s sweetness is a feminine experience of the world without guilt. She is completely free to draw us in, make us stay, and protect our mission with every power granted to her.
Mary’s freedom allows her to be completely unshackled by societal pressure, stigma, worry. Her body, so incredible, saved the universe without ever walking a runway with silly wings attached to it. Her joy and confidence in God is so contagious in its essence, so convincing by its peace, that hopping on a donkey in the middle of the night using the stars as the only GPS seems like a great idea! Feminists of the world! You’ve found your girl!
So, in these next few weeks, as Advent approaches, my prayer is that I may desire to be as irresistible, as fierce, as beautiful, as generous, as close to God as Mary, so much so that her “fiat,” becomes my own.
Now go and do some better reading:
This post is part of a series on the Ten Virtues of Mary, hosted by Olivia of To the Heights and running every Tuesday until the middle of December. So if you need some help in the virtue department, here’s a great place to start ;)
October 7 – An Introduction to the Ten Virtues of Mary – Olivia of To the Heights
October 14 – Lively Faith – Molly of Molly Makes Do
October 21 – Blind Obedience – Kendra of Catholic All Year
October 28 – Constant Mental Prayer – Jenna of Call Her Happy
November 4 – Heroic Patience – Kelly of This Ain’t the Lyceum
November 11 – Profound Humility – Carolyn of Svellerella
November 18 – Angelic Sweetness – Regina of Good One God
November 25 – Divine Wisdom – Britt of The Fisk Files
December 2 – Universal Mortification – Abbey of Surviving Our Blessings
December 9 – Divine Purity – Gina of Someday Saints
December 16 – Ardent Charity – Christy of Fountains of Home
December 17 – Massive GIVEAWAY at To the Heights – Just in time for Christmas