STEPHEN IPPOLITO writes from Australia:
I do hope this finds you and your family well.
A reader’s comment to you on February 7th under the post “Disgusting Pictures” was timely for me as I happened to be on the brink of writing to you at that time to express just the opposite impression of your site.
One of the most important of the many edifying features of The Thinking Housewife, it seems to me, is your regular publishing of beautiful works of religious-themed art, especially of the Madonna and Child, for which you must be commended.
As someone who daily struggles to maintain, let alone to grow, his faith, I particularly enjoy the life-affirming devotional art you sprinkle through the site depicting Our Lady and Lord together.
Such images recall to my mind the beautiful thoughts expressed upon our Lady’s nature by both St Maximilian Kolbe and St Louis Marie de Montfort. The former ventured of her: ” The creature most completely filled with God himself, was the immaculate...” whilst the latter observed: “She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only ‘God’. If you say ‘Mary’ she says ‘God’ “.
These are, surely, succinct expressions of the very essence of Our Lady’s nature and the key to the standpoint from which she must always be approached, namely that Our Lady’s will is always and wholly at one with God’s own.
We know this to be true because we first see it in her initial meeting with the divine in the form of the Angel Gabriel at the annunciation when, according to St Luke, Our Lady freely consented to God’s revealed plan for her to bear and rear Christ: “Behold I am the servant of the Lord; Let it be done unto me according to your word” and because we have the credible modern testimony of numerous seers such as the little shepherds at Fatima and of St Bernadette at Lourdes that Our Lady even today steps back into human time to bring to us her son’s wishes and counsel.
It is for this reason that I was very disappointed, although hardly surprised, to recently read a newspaper’s interview with the playwright of the latest “important” play to open here, staged by what is arguably Australia’s premier theatre company. I don’t know if the subject would be of interest to your readers or not, but here are my thoughts on the play for what they are worth:
“The Testament of Mary“, based on the book by Colm Toibin, purports to explore the truth behind Our Lady’s own lived experience, as a woman and mother, in the face of Our Lord’s final sufferings and sacrifice on the cross.
The subject matter is, of course, not necessarily objectionable of itself, as we know that Our Lady was and remains a fully human and loving mother and a person of the most exquisite sensibility and therefore must have felt immense pain as she witnessed her son’s final sufferings. Although generally a believer in the old saw that one should trust to the tale rather than to the teller, and so I will often see a play or film that has been poorly reviewed in order to judge it for myself, Toibin is so emphatic in this interview about what he was trying to achieve with the play and about how he perceives Mary, that I could not bring myself to attend it and make no apology for that. Read More »