I thought of Mary's spirit, hidden everywhere. Her heart a red cup of fierceness tucked among ordinary things ...... Here, everywhere, but hidden.
Whatever it is that keeps widening your heart, that's Mary too, not only the power inside you but the love. And when you get down to it, that's the only purpose grand enough for a human life. Not just to love - but to persist to love.
She is a muscle of love, this Mary. I feel her in unexpected moments, her Assumption into heaven in places inside me. She suddenly rises, and when she does, she does not go up into the sky, but further and further inside me .... She goes into all the holes life has gouged out of us. - Sue Monk Kidd : The Secret Life of Bees.
Nisargadatta, the Hindu sage, says "Sin is that which binds us". In Buddhism sin is considered ignorance. St Thomas Aquinas, in answer to the question about whether we can ever give up on ourselves, says that grace is always available no matter what we have done. Despair is therefore never a necessity.
The mystic Julian of Norwich wrote : "Sin is behovely (necessary) but all will be well". She taught that sin has no ultimate reality since it is based on ignorance and yet it does lead to knowledge and thereby it is useful. This is a powerful way of describing the role of our shadow in our spiritual journey to Love.
Mary is the refuge of sinners because we can always rely on the feminine in the psyche to guide us to self-acceptance, forgiveness and wholeness.
Spiritual practice leads to developing the musculature to hold a wounded humanity as Mary does. Our sorrows and losses in life are a workout to build our inner strength and our inner capacity for unlimited compassion. Through our own trials and tribulations we learn that there is a unifying love and we become more conscious of others' pain and of the need to help them. We become God's love in the world.
Feast after feast thus comes, and passes by
Yet, passing, points to the glad feast above.
Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy
The Lamb's great bridal feast of bliss and joy - Horatius Bonar