The Mayet Memoirs
Father Colin said: “Look at our mother after the Ascension of the divine Master. She is the support, the director, of the new-born church. She is called ‘Regina Apostolorum’, yet she seemed to be doing nothing, although she did more by her prayers than the apostles did by their preaching. ”
A good illustration of something of the mystery of Mary’s place in the church and the Marist’s relationshipwith her can be seen in a piece of sculpture which was in fact never intended to convey that mystery.The work is by an Australian artist, and is entitled: “Icon: Mary, mother of the priest”.
It depicts the relationship of Mary with the priest in the Church. The priest is shown as the intercessor on behalf of the world, his arms raised in the praying position. Mary is with him, supporting his arms, in agesture which reminds us of the story of Moses’ prayer in the battle against the Amalekites. (Ex. 17: 1-16) The priest is not on his knees in front of Our Lady, but is standing with her. Both are facing in the same direction, though the tilt of the priest’s head is sufficient to indicate his special relationship with Mary and the way he will draw strength and inspiration from her. The two figures blend into one form and become identified with each other.
Much of this could be applied to the Marist’s relationship with Mary. Mary’s concern is for the Church. She looks out towards the Church and the world. The relationship of the Marist is not simply the relationship of child to mother. It is a relationship of two people who identify with each other. The Marist looks to Mary, but also with Mary; together they are looking towards the world and the Church. And yet, likethe priest’s head in the Icon, the Marist’s mind and heart will be turned towards Mary in a gesture of trusting personal relationship, attentive to whatever Mary may have to teach or say.
One could say that the Marist does not so much ask Mary, “How would you act in this or that situation?” but rather, “How do you want me to act in this or that situation?”
Marist Sisters’ Constitutions
Mary, through the Mother of Christ and the perfect image of the Church, nevertheless remained in the new-born Church among the Apostles as a simple believer. A life so hidden and yet so fruitful for the Church seemed to Father Colin the model of what the life of the whole Society of Mary should be in every age.