Sunday, June 21, 2015

The virgin birth

Holy Family

When I think of the virgin birth, I often think of it as the birth of Christ; and to me, this has usually seemed to be the major event, perhaps the only thing of significance in the matter – that Christ is born.

Yet this virgin birth is a birth in two ways. Not only is Christ born—not only does the new man emerge into spiritual Being—but Mary also becomes a mother. 

In this way, the experience of Mary is just as important as the experience of Christ; and aside from the outside characters — Joseph, the wise men, the shepherds, etc. – there are these two central characters, Mary and Christ. Mary becomes a mother through Christ; and she is there, experiencing the birth just as much as Christ is. For her, too, it is a major transformation.

In becoming a mother, Mary takes on the role of she who nurtures — for without her, of course, the Christ child cannot grow into a man. In this way she takes on a new role in life—she who nurtures, the mother, the one who nurses, the one who holds and who loves. 

This is an essential divine role, because she cannot take the role on without the divine emergence of Christ as her son. So she, in her own way, but comes the mother of all mankind, in the same way that Christ is the savior. We see through this vehicle of Mary that the divine can only come into being through the fecund and endlessly creative property of the mother.

Within us, within the depth of our soul, Mary is there as a mother, forever nurturing us in the birth of this new being we hope to encounter and be one with. She truly becomes our intercessor, because without her, the Christ within us cannot mature.

We have a natural depth in us that is meant to receive the seed of the Lord — the impressions of our lives, which is the creative element of all that we become within our own being — and nurture it. Now, generally speaking, I'm blind to this capacity of myself to receive within the natural depth of my own being — and yet it ought to be the most intimate and real part of my existence, because everything grows from it, just as a tree grows from its unseen roots.

I am called to this depth of being so that I can understand the role that Mary plays as my own mother, not just as the mother of Christ. For she lives within me, as she lives within all beings and all creatures, serving as the nurturing principal. If I understood this more deeply, my life would be quite different.


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