I hoped to get to our parish church at 3am today to join in with the Pope’s consecration to Mary of Ukraine, Russia and all humanity. But the flesh was too weak after picking one daughter up from work and then another from the train station at 11pm. I’m not that old yet, but it makes me feel very old!
Still, it felt like a Mary-influenced week. For yesterday’s feast of the Annunciation I enjoyed reading Gerard Manly Hopkins’ poem, The Blessed Virgin Mary Compared to the Air we Breathe. These lines around halfway through struck me, especially the last two:
Merely a woman, yet
Whose presence, power is
Great as no goddess’s
Was deemèd, dreamèd; who
This one work has to do—
Let all God’s glory through
It’s a longish and complex poem, though certainly not his longest. It’s a meditation, not a quick read. It also includes a contemplation of the sky’s blue, which is her colour too. There’s an image of him holding his hand up to the heavens and watching its blue ‘lap’ richly around his fingers (a double meaning there, as blue is a royal colour and Mary is honoured by Catholics as Queen of heaven); he encourages us to lift up our hand and try it.
If that’s not an example of mindfulness I don’t know what is.
I can’t read a Hopkins poem without marvelling at his use of English, it really is itself a force of nature. Read The Windhover for instance and you may feel like you are flying – no 3D virtual reality effects needed!
We also bought a new (to us) car last week and guess what colour it is? Not only blue but a very pretty blue. It was a bit cheaper than the red one which I also liked. Maybe we should call it Lady, which would also pair nicely with the name of our other car, Speedy.
Do you name your cars?