Pentecost and Mother Mary

I was thinking about how lovely it was that this year Pentecost Sunday, the day we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming to fill all those who were enclosed in a room with the Blessed Virigin, coincides with the secular day we celebrate Mother’s Day in North America. 

In “Handmaid of the Lord”, in the chapter entitled “Pentecost”, Adrienne von Speyr reflects on how closely related Mary’s motherhood is to Pentecost.  She writes, “For Mary is present by design at this feast of the Church’s foundation.  She is there as the Mother, as the one who from the very beginning has experienced and known everything about the Lord.”   She goes on to tell us that Mary is, “also present now, beyond motherhood and bridehood, as the womb of the Church.”  Christ, von Speyr writes of Mary, “reshaped her spirit from being that of an individual into the spirit of the Church.” 

When the Holy Spirit overshadowed her the first time, he made the incarnate Son come into being as a concrete, individual human being in the womb of her body.  The Spirit in her created the physical Son.  Then came a second period; the Son within her recreated her in the Spirit, from being physical mother to becoming Bride and Church as well.  It was a period of expansion, of transformation of the earthly into the Christian, the catholic, the universal.  And so the third period matures:  the Son, having returned to the Father, sends the Holy Spirit down upon her again so that the whole concreteness of the Church’s body may come into being now in this second overshadowing. 

How is the whole concreteness of the Church’s body to come about?  Once again, it will be through Mary’s Fiat, Mary’s perpetual Fiat:

General responsibility for the Church and for all whom it must lead to the Lord must be given to someone.  The Mother, who had volunteered for every responsibility, will surely assume this one.  The Apostles have functions in the Church which are somehow divided and partial.  The Mother is responsible for the whole.  In her, the Apostles and their different missions have their unity, the unity of the whole catholic mission:  to bring together all those who have gone astray or who are seeking, all those who are to be redeemed.  It is starting from this Pentecost community of the Apostles – with the women and the Mother in their midst – that all the scattered are brought back to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

[Adrienne von Speyr: The Handmaid of the Lord] From the Chapter, “Pentecost”   

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4 Responses

  1. That might be the meaning of “One” that I understood yesterday at Mass, but could not articulate. And still can’t.

    I’ve been looking at world and national tragedies these days, and am overwhelmed–begging her to obtain/dispense all the graces she can.. round us up, now, and wring out some Spirit-stricken evangelizers.. I was thinking of how a mother’s heart breaks in tragedy..even if it’s not her own tragedy, and how a Universal Mother’s heart would break in all tragedies, in all the ages.. but on top of that, she witnesses the tragedy of loves that do not lead to her Son, and therein is the seat of her greatest Sorrow.

    Adrienne and the silence of Myanmar but for wailing children, and 900 or more trapped teens in China are causing a mixed leak over here, and some prayer, and neither one will do much. How suffocating must Mary’s own sorrow have been.

  2. Ah, but prayer will do much…and I have just posted one which I think speaks of the “overwhelmedness” that comes upon all of us, and among other things, asks Mary to teach us how to treat the affairs of the world. Responsibility and joyful hope, and a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

  3. We need not only the outpouring, but folks to be receptive of Him. It’s that end that worries me–it’s so slow. (Praise God, tho’, and thank you, Mary — the first U.S. plane of crucial supplies touched down in Myanmar (along with the arrival of others’ aids) but all have to report every move to the military junta, and 2 million destitute and sicken-ing folks are waiting too long for the army trucks to bring it all out to them.. but again, praise God and thank you, Mary, diarrhea hasn’t become epidemic, yet.

    And, I read the prayer before coming here, and will go comment there.

  4. Then we must pray for that receptivity as well, when we pray for an outpouring of the Spirit. And this we do too, when we pray for conversion of hearts through Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

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