Since May is a month dedicated to Mary, I asked my students to seek out and find images of the Blessed Mother that they had not seen before. I pointed out that here in the West we usually see her as a fair-skinned young woman with a gentle smile, however, our God is a creative and inclusive God who appreciates the creativity and imagination of all His people.
One of my students sent me the image shown above, not realizing that he sent me a modern version of a very ancient image… and one of my favorites. She’s called Our Lady of the Sign and similar images have been around since the 4th century. She’s always shown with her hands raised in prayer... she’s praying for us!... and with Jesus in front of her... she is presenting Him to us!
Birds are always included in the image, usually cranes... which represent Order... have you ever seen them flying high above in formation?... and Loyalty... they mate for life... and Vigilance... they fly much higher than all the other birds, even higher than some aircraft, covering 500 miles in a single day, all the while on the lookout for danger, stragglers, and a place to rest.
St. Anthony of Padua said about cranes... “Let us be merciful, like the cranes, placing ourselves on a lofty watch-tower in this life, so that we may look out both for ourselves and for others.”
As this coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold with no end in sight, let’s be like the cranes…
looking out for each other, for the stragglers, for the emotionally, spiritually, and physically weary.
And especially because it’s the month of May, the best place I can think of to rest... is in Mary’s arms.
This Monday Minute is from Deacon Andy Neu, currently listening to That's How You Change the World by Newsboys. Listen in at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtkTXBTTcAw