Mary the Steel Magnolia

With regard to Mary, Jesus on the cross gave her for safekeeping to John, and by implication also to those of us afterward who would follow John's example as friends and followers of Christ. Should the Ark of the New Covenant then cool her heels outside when Catholics mingle with Christians of other confessions? Southern hospitality has already answered that question. Mary may bring a few doctrinal puzzlements with her, but she always points the way to Jesus, and (as I also remind myself) it's not right to leave her on the porch.

People wary of Marian influence may find themselves in the predicament of the man who sang on the fourth Eagles album about being "All alone at the end of the evening when the bright lights have faded to blue," thinking "about a woman that loved me, and I never knew." On the other hand, those of us who welcome Mary together with as many prayer forms and devotions as can aid our spiritual walk will find powerful help for cultivating the relationship with Jesus that consoles every Christian, in or out of the American South.

11/10/2011 5:00:00 AM
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