Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Marian Devotion from the Cool Hand of St. Luke

Although the poet in me certainly appreciates the depth of the Gospel of John, my journalist background (and Marian devotion) gravitates toward the Gospel by today's saint.

First off, my struggling writer years made me side with Luke's unequivocal "Sermon on the Plain" over Matthew's more famous "Sermon on the Mount," for "Blessed are the poor" is definitely more appealing to a truly poor person than the seemingly apologetic "Blessed are the poor in spirit." In fact, my brother, Larry, a long-time member of the Catholic Worker movement, once thought of making and marketing "Woe to the Rich! - Luke 6:24" t-shirts, only to find that those of us who dug them couldn't afford such novelties anyway.

But more importantly, Luke was to me the most Marian of the Gospel writers. While John's Wedding Feast of Cana (2:1-12) and his Foot of the Cross narrative (19:25-27) are crucial to my understanding of the Blessed Mother, Gabriel's announcement to Mary, Mary's encounter with Elizabeth, and finally Mary's Canticle (Luke 1:26-56) has been the greatest source of my Marian spirituality. And just as I can't comprehend how anyone reading John 6 carefully doesn't come away with a Catholic understanding of the Eucharist, I don't see how anyone pondering Luke 1 can leave without a devotion to the Mother of God.

Granted, one might have to be a bit of a theologian to do as Augustine did comparing Gabriel's "Hail Mary full of Grace" (Luke 1:28) with John 1:14, which declared Jesus to be "full of Grace and Truth" and from it deduce Mary's freedom from original sin. But when Our Lady "proclaims the greatness of the Lord," "rejoices in God my Savior," and says "holy is His name" (Luke 1:46-49), it would be foolhardy not to see God has deemed Mary someone special. And thus for the generations of Protestants who do not call her "Blessed," it seems to me that they are going against the Bible, if not God.

And so to my Charismatic Evangelical brothers and sisters who stand on Luke's 2nd Chapter of Acts as their model of the Church, I say kneel down and pray over Luke Chapter 1 to find your model of what a true Christian should be. For if Luke's straightforward narrative inspired you in the former, the Holy Spirit cannot fail to turn your heart toward the Blessed Mother in the latter. And then, who knows? Perhaps you will "come to know Him in the breaking of the Bread" (Luke 24:35) as well.

1 comment :

chumly said...

I think a T shirt that says,


would be neat.