Sunday, January 01, 2006

The God-Bearer

January 1st is celebrated as the Solemnity of Mary as the Mother of God in the Catholic tradition. Our priest this morning was commenting on how Mary, Mother of God, plays a very significant role in the Eastern Orthodox tradition.

He told a story of attending an Eastern rite service with Fr. Prosper, one of his brother monks, once, and Fr. Prosper kept repeating "Theotokos" over and over again. Fr. Anthony later asked what that was.

"Oh, Theotokos, the Mother of God. Without her, we would have none of this. The saints would have no names were it not for her."

Mary is the God-bearer. Mary said yes. By saying yes, she was the first disciple. Without her yes, we would have none of this.

For more information about Theotokos, follow the Greek link above.

Pictured is Our Lady of Vladimir, one of the most famous and most copied icons. This version was "written" by Sr. Mary Charles McGough, OSB, of the Duluth Benedictines; it also happens to hang on the wall of my bedroom. However, there are also plenty of other icons of the Theotokos.

[Incidentally enough, the Duluth Benedictines were just featured on the PBS Independent Lens series; the film was titled "Sisters: Portrait of a Benedictine Community" and aired a couple weeks ago. If, by chance, anyone happened to tape it and would be willing to share, I would love to be able to see it (I'm not sure if anyone at our place taped it or not.)]

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