"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing.
But a woman who reveres the Lord will be
praised." The book of Proverbs is so
perceptive. The beauty of a woman is on the
inside. The strength of a woman lies in her
"Suppose your mother baked a pie and
there were seven of you - your parents and
five children. What part of the pie would
you get?" a teacher asked a boy. The
unexpected answer was forthright. "A
sixth," replied the boy. The teacher
immediately replied, "I'm afraid you
don't know your fractions. Remember, there
are seven of you." "Yes, teacher,"
said the boy, "but you don't know my
mother. Mother would say she didn't want
Mothers are special. Our Mother in heaven,
Mariam of Nazareth, is super-special. What
is her forte? Paradoxically her strong point
lies in her defenselessness. Instead of building
her own life, she let herself be shaped by
God. She let herself be molded in the hands
of the Master.
Surrendering ourselves is always a daunting
task. We fight, we resist. We always believe
our way is better. Even yielding to those
whom we love can be difficult at times. And
yet it is the only way to being significant
"If I had to convey it in images I would
speak of the way in which a child is taught
to write", comments the Metropolitan
Anthony of Sourozh. "A pencil is put
into his hand, the mother takes the hand
in hers, and then begins to move it; and
as long as the child does not know, and cannot
foresee, what is expected of him, the lines
are so perfect, the straights are straight,
the curves are curved. The moment the child
begins to imagine he understands what is
expected of him, becomes helpful, pushes,
pulls, and turns, it becomes a scribble.
Isn't that exactly what happens to us when
instead of listening deeply, silently, listening
intently in the stillness of our heart and
ready to wait on God, we make haste to understand
what he wants, and try to do it before we
Metropolitan Anthony also gives the analogy
of a sail on a ship. "The sail is the
frailest part of it and yet, directed in
the right way, it can engulf the wind and
carry the heavy, strong, resisting structure
to its haven. This is the kind of weakness,
of frailty, of surrender, that we can see
in the generous gift of the Mother of God
to her Lord."
The archangel told the Virgin that she will
bear a child. Mary knew that this promise
was also a threat. According to Deuteronomy,
an unmarried girl who bore a child was condemned
to stoning. And yet she did not say, "But
this cannot be, it will cost me my life".
She said, "Here am I, the handmaid of
the Lord. Be it unto me according to his
will". And his will was, humanly speaking,
her death, unless a miracle occurred.
The miracle occurred. Joseph believed in
her. The baby was born and Mary was not stoned.
God made it again!
We must learn something from this. If we
want to be of the race of the Mother of God,
there is no other way but surrender and reliance.
When asked by the Rabbi "where God is?",
everyone thought of the obvious answer 'everywhere'.
The Rabbi however surprised all when he said,
"God is where you let him in."
God can only enter your heart as long as
you open the doors and leave them open.
"Doorkeepers usually keep doors shut:
our vocation is to keep a door open for God
who knocks at every entrance to find a door
open" comments Metropolitan Anthony.
"In moments of strife or moments of
tension, when we have no words and do not
know what to do, we can sit still, turn to
the Lord and say, 'Lord, I believe. Come,
and give us thy peace'; and continue praying
in the midst of the storm, in the midst of
the strife, in the midst of the terror. Pray
that the Lord, who is the Lord of the storm,
as he is the Lord of peace, may come and
spread his peace as he did on the lake of
Tiberias when he commanded the waves to be
still and the wind to be silent. This is
This open door policy will keep alight hope
in our lives. To Mary, God always made sense.
This is what Mary can teach us.
Thomas A. Edison invented the incandescent
light bulb and developed the phonograph or
record player and the 'kinetoscope', a small
box for viewing moving films. When he was
a young lad, his teacher sent him home with
a note which said, "Your child is dumb.
We can't do anything for him." Mrs.
Edison wrote back, "You do not understand
my boy. I will teach him myself". And
she did, with results that are well known.
Mary, our mother, can do the same… and more!
She can teach us how to let God mold us into
a work of art. And thus be a sign of hope
for the many who have no hope.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright