>The Queen


Detail of painting by Van Eyck

Today we celebrate the Queenship of Mary.
This is a devotion that helps us remember Mary’s special place in our hearts and the heart of her Son. Indeed, many might object: considering a mere girl a Queen, of all things! And Queen of Heaven, even! The idea of it! Hmmmm…..

But really, it is the idea of it that is so cool, and the reality of it is mindblowing. Here is a mere girl, ok, eventually an old woman (most all of us get there, even Mary) and she lived her life so tuned into God’s call that she is an example for us all.

Even considered as Queen of Heaven, Mary still, always and eternally, points to her Son. “Do whatever He tells you.” {John 2:4-6) It’s not about her and her power trip, like a bad movie (like it would be for me, think of the control issues, ah!). It always, always, is about her son, Christ.

When we ask Mary to pray for us, turn to her for consolation and support, she understands and loves us enough to pray to her son on our behalf. Her love, as a perfect mom with perfect love, is unfailing for us as well. I can use a big dose of that…most every day! So, yeah, I dig this concept and I do think of her as Queen of Heaven in that her prayers are heard and we can ask for them. And what perfect Son doesn’t listen to his mother?

Another way that I think of it is this: I am “queen” of my home. I am. But that means that I am the one who cares for, tends, serves, pays attention to, and helps all the members of my family…down to the smallest details. Or, well, I try to, on a good day. Mary is that for us, for me, too. That’s the sort of “queen” that is real, instead of a mere poster queen or politically twisted definition.

And, especially now as I am learning to love and be mom to a whole new, older and different child in my home and family, I am leaning hard on my spiritual Queen, my Blessed Mother, to be an example to me on how to love better, harder, further…both in the big picture and the small details. And to pray for me and not quit, while I stumble through this awkward time. I believe she is.

Every night when I tuck Little Man into bed, we sing “Salve Regina” together (in english, not the latin). It’s a favorite hymn. And every night he says, “Our voices sound just the same. We sound good.” And I don’t know if that is actually true, but it sure sounds true enough right then. And I like to think that the sweetness of that sung prayer is heard and understood by our Blessed Mother, and her Son, with a smile. Agnolo Gaddi, “Coronation of the Virgin,” 1380

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished
children of Eve, to thee do we send
up our sighs, mourning and weeping
in this valley, of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us; and
after this our exile show unto us the
blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God

That we may be made worthy of the
promises of Christ.