Ave Maria (n): a prayer to the Virgin Mary used in Catholic worship. The first line is adapted from Luke 1:28.
Everyone pretty much insists that they are not bound to be politically correct, even as they correctly utter everything politically.
I understand political correctness. Having a sensitivity for other people’s feelings, ideas, talent and faith is always a noble adventure. And actually, there are very few times when we should make a stand over some issue or terminology simply to prove our point.
I am not Catholic.
Yet when I sat down to write a novel on the life of Jesus, where he shares his own story, and I was compelled to fill in the missing years which are not normally spoken of in historical or scriptural writings, I ran headlong into the character of Mary of Nazareth.
You have billions of people in the world who believe that she was not only the mother of Jesus but also divine herself.
So rather than playing it safe, keeping a Catholic approach to her character, or disregarding those traditions in favor of a Protestant approach, I decided to research it as a writer.
What do we really know about the life of this woman?
My study opened up a vista of possibilities.
- She was probably a girl in her early teens, living in abstract poverty, when she found herself pregnant, believing deep in her heart that it was due to the bidding of an angel of the Lord.
- In sharing her story, she risked being stoned.
- She had the faith that her betrothed, Joseph, would come around and love her and protect her instead of becoming her primary accuser.
- She birthed her child in what might be considered some of the worst possible circumstances.
- Within two years she was forced into exile in Egypt to avoid having her son murdered.
- She returned to her home town, where the rumors of her pregnancy were still circling about.
- By my count, she had a total of seven children, counting the names of the ones listed in the Gospels. (Now, I know the Catholics believe these to be cousins, but to each his own.)
- She had to deal with her oldest son deciding to leave home, walking away from the family business.
- She mistakenly thought he may have turned crazy, and sent her other children out to get him, only to have him turn his back on the whole family to pursue his mission.
- She found herself in front of a cross, staring up into the bleeding and dying countenance of her beloved first-born.
- She was there to witness the resurrection.
- And she was present for the founding of the church that bore the name of her son of promise.
My research unveiled the character of a woman who was powerful, enduring, confused, pondering and finally, faithful.
Honestly, when I got finished, all I could say was … “Ave Maria.”
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix
NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING
A meeting place for folks who know they’re human
$3.99 plus $2.00 S&H