It is May, and like every good Catholic girl of a certain age, I remember this as the month we celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus.
A lot of terrific recent scholarship is helping my generation recover from earlier interpretations of Mary as a revered (if impossible to imitate) virgin-mother role model often portrayed as silent, passive, and obedient.
I recently listened to a podcast by Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, a Sister of St. Joseph, who spoke eloquently about “arguably the most celebrated woman in the Christian tradition.” Mary is commemorated the world over in famous, paintings, icons, prayers, and sacred music. Countless schools, hospitals, and churches are named for her.
Johnson respects the church’s long tradition of venerating Mary and works hard to connect that tradition to today: “What do we say in our time in this multicultural world? In this generation, who is she, and how can we carry forward tradition in a way that is liberating and healing in a world so in need?”
Source: National Catholic Reporter