A Fragment of Grace

2007_09 Carmel 008A mysterious event happened in my garden Friday night. Outside my bedroom window there stood a beautiful white stone statue of Mary. She once blessed the courtyard at my home in California and she traveled two thousand miles with me when I moved to Texas.

Every morning and evening when I opened and closed the draperies she awaited, a blessed and familiar sight reminding me to be grateful for the day that was either beginning or ending. The simple statue of the Madonna had been a daily source of sacred presence for over ten years.

On Saturday morning I opened the curtains to discover to my horror that the statue had toppled over during the night and broken to pieces. The sight of the beloved sacred image, cracked apart, face down on the stepping stones, shattered into bits, took my breath away. I went out to see if I could put the pieces together again but it was obvious the once beautiful statue was beyond repair. How? Why did this unexplainable incident happen?

As of today there are no answers to the mystery. In my search for solace a metaphor arose…that, Mary, like her splintered statue…that Our Blessed Lady’s spirit is broken with her grief for our injustices to one another, for our ailing planet and for the spiritual unrest and suffering of humankind. Just as there is no apparent reason for the destruction of Mary’s statue, the answers to explain how or why horrific inexplicable things happen to innocent souls each and every day seem equally illusive.

I sat on the ground and stared at the shards. The intrinsic beauty of the statue had been distorted and disfigured but I noticed that a remaining fragment, the head, was miraculously intact. I carefully retrieved the veil-framed face from the ground and brought it indoors to my prayer corner…and then I wept. I wept for the sad state of our world and her people. I wept for a thousand reasons…personal, global, and universal.

Image 5I wept for the broken hearted Mother of God, for the heartbreak and sorrow she carried when she lived on the earth and for the grief she endures in the world of spirit, on our behalf. As I held the statue’s head in my hands I cried until there were no more tears and then I placed the piece of her that remained upon my altar.

Her perfect stone image once stood in the garden where it served as a resting place for the birds and a sacred icon of spiritual sustenance for anyone seeking peace. Today, on this late summer Sabbath, only a fragment of the blessed statue remains. I retrieve the Madonna’s head from my altar and hold her face in my hands. The unexplainable experience of the statue’s fate and my deepening connection with her unfathomable love have delivered an unexpected gift to my understanding.

It’s as though I see her now through a new lens…the lens of grace. I recognize with the blessing of refreshed vision that Mary endures all. She is the Sacred Feminine, and like the Phoenix her heart survives the blows and tumult of human suffering, while she continues to appear in myriad forms with unfailing assurance that her love for us is fierce and protective. She reveals herself with her urgent guidance for these dark times…

Pray without ceasing for the ones who have no one to pray for them! Pray for peace! Only the return to Love will save you!

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