Monday, January 2, 2017

Poem: “Alma Redemptoris Mater”/”Loving Mother of the Redeemer”

“Alma Redemptoris Mater”/”Loving Mother of the Redeemer”
Loving Mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature
you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin as before.
You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

The vastness of God’s love can be hard to grasp on human terms. Yes, we know God’s love is boundless and eternal, but how can we possibly enter into that space and accept what is ours when it is so far beyond our comprehension? Where do we begin? To Jesus through Mary: We’ve learned those words again and again over the course of our spiritual lives. We’ve seen it marked in ink on letters and prayer cards, but have we made it our own? Do we look to our Blessed Mother as the point of entry into the endless and unconditional love that God pours out for us?
In Alma Redemptoris Mater, we call out to Mary, Star of the Sea, Gate of Heaven. Think of the imagery for a moment. Mary is the steady point of light that guides us across rough waters to a place of interior calm where God waits for us. Mary is the gate swung open wide, allowing us to pass from darkness as deep as a starless night to a place of endless sunrise that was won for us by her Son. In true motherly fashion, Mary draws us to her and pushes us along, even when we’re not sure where to go or whether we want to go at all.
Mary understands better than anyone what it means to look into the unknown and accept a destiny beyond human comprehension. She must have felt trepidation and doubt when the angel came to her, even as she said yes to the Lord’s call. With her fiat, she refused to let fear win and went forward in trust. We can do the same with Mary as our model and guide. We can turn to her today, every day, when worries swirl like a raging sea and the heavens threaten with storm.

To Jesus through Mary – It is a path that breaks through the human constraints we put on our Creator and leads us into the vast and ineffable heart of God.