The mystery and wonder of Mary as she lived her life was so great that we can find her as an ideal Christian married woman and an ideal woman religious. I am not implying by that statement that married women are not religious-I am just making the distinction between the married state and the religious state. In my judgment both are beautiful callings to a deeply spiritual life. Consecrated celibacy and all that it entails may well be the only—certainly the biggest—difference between them. Mary was one of the anawim, one of the humble souls who staked all on Yahweh's proinise. Their spirit was that of lowliness, openness, poverty, emptiness, but they possessed a readiness to do and be about God's will. Their secret was how to be little (but I add effective) in God's hands. The anawim had a sense of human powerlessness mingled with a strong trust in God. They were patient in waiting and had the clinging love of a child. In being open to God, they were also open to others.



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