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Michael reminds us about Mary
at the Prayer Hour today

This afternoon at our weekly vigil at Marquette University praying for it to Stop Teaching War one of group decided to sit in the background holding up a picture of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Mother of God. Mary has always played a large role in some Christian faiths but, in the Catholic Church in recent times, has taken a backseat for many. I always considered this unusual since the role of women in the Church has been a real concern and some are pushing for the equality of women by their ordination as Catholic priests.

Tonight I went to funeral service for the 94 year old mother of a Catholic Worker friend. One of the Gospel readings was the Magnificant prayer of Mary. (Luke 1: 48–55) In these words of Mary in response to a greeting from her cousin Elizabeth who senses she is pregnant with “our Lord’, she proclaims the glory of God for all God did for her and how God blesses the poor, the humble and the downtrodden. “God has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.” This message was a foreshadowing of the message of her son Jesus, thirty years later—God’s love for the poor and oppressed.

In our nonviolent actions to stop the teaching of war and killing in the ROTC programs at Marquette we sometimes lose hope and believ we are trying to do something that is impossible. This may be true in the short run but in the long run, if we are persistent in our belief, I think that with the truth of our message and with the help of God for the weak, we will succeed. In fact many colleges and universities in the USA have dropped ROTC programs since the end of the war in Vietnam and the Selective Service system. Marquette is one of 23 Catholic Universities left that have ROTC programs on campuses.

If we are full of grace, like Mary and truly believe, the glory of God will prevail and the military presence at Marquette will be overcome. If we do not forget about Mary God can do wondrous things with the lowly and we will overcome.

Mary’s song or Magnificant is below.

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.” (Luke 1:46–55)

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