Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The Virgin Mary is “Queen of Media”

The Blessed Virgin Mary. Gave us a “selfie” long before it was cool.😎 

Happy Feast of the Assumption of Mary (or “Dormition” for Byzantines☦️🙂).

#Assumption #Dormition 

#Guadalupe #SheHasABody

#SharingResurrectionOfJesus #HopeOfOurResurrection #CatechismInHashtags

Really, Mary is the O.G. of “social media influencers.” Well, it might be irreverent to refer to Mary as the “O.G.” of anything—the popular abbreviation for the phrase “Original Gangster” is commonly used to refer to people who were the real inspirations and originators of popular trends, but it doesn’t imply any negative or criminal activity. The kids these days use it as a term of respect. Or they used to…I can’t keep up with the “latest” lingo.🙄 Anyway, Mamma Mary, please forgive me—you know what a fool I am!

Mary assumed body and soul into eternal life joined her risen and glorified Son, and in them the Kingdom of God—the New Creation—has already begun in its fullness and in all its implications for human destiny. Mary lives in her glorified body as a sign of hope for all of us. She also provides her maternal love and “makes herself present” in special “visible” ways to individuals and peoples within this present history of space and time.

Such phenomena take various forms (when they are authentic, which is always subject to the judgment of the Church), but Mary has a beautiful way of establishing herself in particular places so that her children have an abundance of ways to draw close to her. Some great shrines are dedicated to the locations of Mary’s prophetic apparitions, through which she has given guidance to peoples and nations and (e.g. Lourdes and Fatima) the whole human race. 

Then there are countless Marian icons (pictures and—in the West—statues) that Catholic and Orthodox peoples have held dear through the ages. They have sought and obtained Mary’s special maternal protection at the many Marian shrines, or through copies of Mary’s images and icons revered in their own homes. Think of Our Lady of Częstochowa (Poland), Aparecida (Brazil), Knock (Ireland), La Vang (Vietnam), Ostrobramska (Lithuania, Poland, Belarus), Vailankanni (India), the Virgin of Kazan (Russia), the Virgin of Volodymyr (Ukraine), and many more.

Then, of course, there’s Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, the Merciful Mother who “dwells” at the center of the Western Hemisphere and communicates her love and solicitude through an inexplicable image that radiates from a 500 year old cactus fiber cloak.

We struggle to invent and master technologies that we think might “extend” our interactions with others and express our love (though, sadly, we all-too-often use them to express everything but love). Let’s look to the intercession of Mary, who lives bodily in the light of God’s glory and finds countless ways to stay connected to us, her children. She needs no technology to communicate with us, and always gives us the love that leads us to the heart of Jesus her Son, our brother.

This is the only real social network—the unity brought about by the Holy Spirit, the unity of our sister-and-brother-hood with Jesus in the Father’s house, the union with God our Creator who loves us and wants to transform us in his likeness. This is what lasts forever. How can we serve the building up of this communion while using the human networks we work with in this life, with all their flaws and disappointments and opaqueness? Our Blessed Mother Mary will help us.