On Tuesday this week we hung up a beautiful new image of Our Lady of Grace in the Commons. Thank you to Sheryl Moran who created this inspiring piece.
About the Painting
Only a few words of the Blessed Virgin Mary are included in the Bible, but they are full of wisdom and power. We hear the most from her in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke who records her conversations with the Angel Gabriel and with her cousin Elizabeth. It is in these two conversations that we find the “Hail Mary” and the “Magnificat.” In these words our Mother models for us how to live the life we were created to live: “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to thy word,” and, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” As followers of Christ, we too are called to surrender our lives to him, and in doing so, make him present to the world in which we live.
This image of the Blessed Virgin Mary is meant to portray how Our Lady fixes her gaze on the Holy Spirit: “To you I raise my eyes, to you enthroned in heaven. Yes, like the eyes of servants on the hand of their masters.” (Psalm 123:1&2) As she beholds the Lord, his power and presence shine forth from her.
"…The Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it.”… (Lumen Gentium 60)
The final image of Mary in the Bible is found in the Revelation of John: “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” (Revelation 12:1) In the “Salve Regina” we pray, “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope…” As Catholics we profess the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
“Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians…” (CCC 966)
Thus she truly is “our life, our sweetness, and our hope.” As we long for the day of our resurrection, let us follow in the footsteps of our Blessed Mother, the handmaid whose soul magnifies the Lord.