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Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy

Fifth Theme: The separate self is the problem, whereas most religion and most people make the shadow self the problem. This leads to denying, pretending, and projecting instead of real transformation into the Divine (Transformation).

Mary As Corporate Personality

Meditation 48 of 53

We see that Mary is the archetype, the personification of the one who represents and sums up the entire mystery of how salvation is received, and this has many dimensions. Like Jesus, I believe she is a Corporate Personality, a stand-in and exemplar for all of us. This is why the older churches so honored her and were fascinated by her. She is us!

  • The “immaculate conception” refers to her identity before she had done anything right or anything wrong (perhaps implied in Romans 8:30).
  • Her free election at the Annunciation with no mention of merit (Luke 1:38), as it is for us.
  • Her virgin motherhood is shrouded in mystery even for her (Luke 2:19, 51), as it is for us.
  • She has a quiet, ordinary life (no statements for thirty years), as most of ours are.
  • She shows heroic “standing” in dignity and solidarity with the pain and despair at the end (John 19:25).
  • She demonstrates receptivity to the shared life of the Holy Spirit along with everybody else at Pentecost (Acts 1:14).

All of these dimensions point to the full meaning of how God is born into the world! It is never about us, and always about God. We, like Mary, are merely “handmaids,” instruments, and it took such a woman as this to make the whole pattern glaringly clear.

Adapted from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, pp. 177-178

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