Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Much of what has come to us as stories about the saints and particularly Mary finds its source in pious speculation. Although it would be easy to dismiss pious speculation we should recall that most of our lives operate on deductions that we make based on certain facts. We presume that people who have driver’s licenses will drive safely; we presume that new machines will not break…etc….
So perhaps establishing stories about Mary that are not found in scripture but reflect scriptural truths are not that far-fetched way of arriving at spiritual insights. Today’s memorial recounts a story about the dedication of Mary by her parents (I think we can presume Mary had parents) to God in the temple when she was only three years of age and Mary’s choice to stay dedicated to God throughout her life. Although not found in scripture, this event gained importance, especially in Eastern Christianity, among those who saw Mary’s yes in her Magnificant as an event that had precedence in her earliest years.
Today’s feast of the Presentation of the Virgin reminds us that good habits start early and take perseverance. Although we don’t know much about Mary’s life, we can, by means of pious speculation, presume that saying yes to God and continuing to say yes to God was a virtue that Mary practiced from the beginning of her life.

November 21st, 2013