Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mary, bride of God

An old Catholic saying states: de Maria numquam satis (Of Mary one can never say enough). Yet considering all the books written about her during the centuries, it almost seems as though everything one could say about the Godbearer has been said. She is the Virgin of virgins, the Mother of God and our Mother; the august Queen of the universe, the sorrowful Dolorosa and the mighty Help of Christians. She is the Gentle Woman, the Terror of demons and Destroyer of heresies; the Mystical Rose, the Seat of Wisdom, and so many other things. What more remains for us to say?

Yet some aspects of Mary's person have receivedless emphasis than others in the past. So this present article will focus on one such aspect: Mary as the Bride of God.

Mariologists have not entirely ignored this mystery, but it has received considerably less attention than her Motherhood, Virginity, Queenship, etc. It has also made almost no inroads into popular Marian devotion (except perhaps in the title "Spouse of the Holy Spirit"). Thus the image of Mary-as-Bride has had very little impact on the lives of average Catholic.

Could this perhaps have something to do with the romantic - even sexual - connotations in the bride/spouse image? Perhaps we feel a little uncomfortable applying such an image to the Ever-Virgin Mary, or are not sure how to reconcile the two.

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