Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ave Regina Coelorum

Ave Regina coelorum,
Ave Domina Angelorum:
Salve radix, salve porta,
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:
Gaude Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa,
Vale, o valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum semper exora.

A brief post.

For Catholics, these are more than just theological speculations-- affairs exclusively contained and mediated in the mind. No. They are truths, realities that go beyond mere actualities or opinions. Of course, for Protestants, crowning six-foot tall images of the Virgin, dressed in sumptuous cloth-of-gold robes and adorned with the most precious jewelry will perhaps always appear like idolatry, and I understand that. But as I said, beyond dogmas, creedal formulae, theological speculation and reasoning, and even beyond our limited grasp of divine revelation, the objects of our faith are very much real. And they watch over us from heaven, in the bliss of eternal beatitude, praying, interceding, and guiding us. That is the beauty of the Church.

That is why we crown Mary with these crowns which appear scandalously blasphemous to Protestants. Sometimes, I can't help but think Protestants have a very narrow view of God's glory-- it is very by-the-books, safe, tested and boring. It comes as no surprise, then, that mere religious iconography can incite such repulsion among most of them. It is incredibly ironic, since Scriptures themselves say that Jesus is the image of God Himself; that many Protestants deny this in practice (or non-practice) is very sad to me. They claim to worship a personal God, but are repulsed by the thought of Him taking the form of lowly, wretched man.

We crown those images of Mary because she is real, because she is with God, because she, too, is our Mother. As a virtuous soul once said to me, truth is truth, no matter what the facts say, or don't say. Ave Regina coelorum, indeed!

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