Author Ginny Kubitz Moyir writes:
"...there are times when life presents us with a clear crossroads. The paths are well-marked, displayed before our eyes; it's simply a matter of discerning which one to follow. But what happens when the future is not a crossroads, but a maze? What do we do when we can't even see what our options are? How do we proceed when we know our current lifestyle isn't working for us, but we have no idea where to go from there?" (p.15).
This particular paragraph resonated with me, especially right now. Whether the question on the table is "Why should Mary mean more to me than any other figure in Scripture apart from Christ himself?" or "Something's not right ... What do you want from me, God?" the answer is so often right in front of us, if we are only open and willing to read the signs.
Mary and Me is the story -- many stories, actually -- of individuals who felt the gentle tug of that particular apronstring, and let themselves be drawn in to her loving embrace. In one story, an HBO exec whose brother had recently died from AIDS felt herself being inexplicably drawn to churches. She recalls:
Beth knew she still needed to make a drastic change to regain her emotional health. A few months later she quit her job, sublet her apartment, packed her bags, and got into her car. She didn't know where she was going, and had no timeline or agenda for her road trip. Only one thing was clear: She was at a turning point, and needed to find a new life for herself.
For the next five months, she drove all the way from California to Nova Scotia and back. Though she had no conscious itinerary or purpose, she soon discovered one: visiting churches. Without knowing why, she found herself stopping her car in front of Catholic churches in different states. "I'd see a Catholic church as I was driving through Town X, and I'd pull over, and stop, and I'd walk in...." She had no idea why she was doing it, but felt "compelled from the outside in." It was only when she'd arrive in the vestibule of the church that it hit her: She was there because she was looking for Mary.
This search for transcendent reality, for ultimate truth -- for home -- is common to many of those looking toward the Catholic Church. We don't know exactly what it is we are looking for until we look it full in the face, then find ourselves wondering why it took us so long to catch on.
Thanks, Ginny, for taking the time to sing it out so compellingly.