I slid into the car, turned the key in the ignition, headed for home. The radio was tuned to KVBM 94.9, the Catholic Radio station. A woman was talking as the sound came on. I just caught the tail end of her final remark, just a quick sound bite: Remember, Jesus spent 10 times more years of His life with His mother than He did with His apostles. I smiled to myself in surprise, I had never thought about it that way.
I had never been much of a “Mary person” in the past, but one of the fruits of studying iconography has been the awakening of the desire to become closer to her. The radio show quote kept popping into my mind as I went about my life over the next several days. How true it was. Thirty years with His mother. Three years with his apostles. The implications of that.
I learned so much from raising my own children. They taught me and formed me as I was busy trying to teach and form them. Through them, I gave up the last adolescent vestiges of my self-involved world, and learned to nurture and to make others the focus of my love and care. I learned patience, compassion, abundant empathy and understanding–the list is endless. Through my children, I grew so much.
Already humble and giving of heart, how much more did Mary learn from her little Jesus boy, from His words, actions, and behavior, through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. If I could learn so much from my ordinary little boys, my own babies, how much more was Mary’s soul, her loving heart, her understanding, formed by her unique closeness with her son, Jesus. How special, unique, and worthy of honor and reverence she is. How truly blessed, for all generations.