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April 07, 2014


As a lapsed Catholic, I've always found something inexplicably powerful about devotions to the Virgin Mary. I guess as a woman, there's part of me that feels a male/distant/disembodied deity just can't "get" where I'm coming from. (Yes, I realize it's not necessary to imagine God as male, distant, and disembodied, but those are the associations I have, for better or worse.)

Mary just seems more human, more merciful, and more in-tune with suffering than my traditional conception of "God on a throne." Who better to understand life on this suffering planet than a mother who watched her own son be tortured and killed?

I love those statues of people bringing gifts to the Virgin. The iconography seems quintessentially Catholic to me.

It's a dizzying climb up that hill with you, I love your shifting perspectives in every sense, thank you for taking the time to put this essay together & share it! Especially I love the juxtoposition of the living people and the holy images. all Godly!

Beth, I agree that it's best on such an occasion to suspend cynicism and rationalisation. Faith is a reality, however often attempts are made to explain it away and when it brings joy and peace to people's lives, I'd say let it be. It's all the things that faith gets wrong which tends to overshadow its benefits.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.