Monday, 21 April 2008

St Beuno's; Part seven; Chapel to Our Blessed Lady.

A quiet chapel to Our Blessed Lady with Calvary on the altar where the tabernacle would once have been.
Close up of the Calvary.
Chapel window.
Clapel window.
Sculpture in the Lady Chapel, you can see through the smoked glass wall the main chapel.
Mary has always been a central figure in Christianity, she has always been absolutely key, right from that moment early in Luke's Gospel when she is told "Blessed are you amongst women". The interesting thing for modern scholars is that she is being reassessed because we have become much more sensitive to female characters in scripture and because female characters in the biblical story are often quieter than the men. In a contemporary world we want to re-imagine Christian origins and involve women much more. And one of the most important women in that story is Mary, of course, and that is why it is worth hearing her voice in a fresh way.
One of the reasons that Mary has maintained her popularity is that there were all the makings in the biblical text for a fascinating story, and yet with much of the detail missing. Often when details are missing, tradition will do its own part in trying to fill in those gaps and imagine details to make that person's life a little fuller and understand more about them. One of the roles that Mary fulfils is the mother that we see in early Christianity; she is the role model for mothers and for women everywhere. She also plays an important role throughout Christian history in providing us with a female that is right at the heart of events.
One of the interesting parallels that we can draw between Our Blessed Lady and the contemporary world is that of 'watching and waiting', being obedient and trusting in God's call. Contemporary feminist theology often misses the point, that it is exactly by obedience and patience that the women in the gospels "took the better part". Indeed, it is by this obedience that Our Lady entered into the joys of Heaven in a way in which nobody else before or after has ever been able to achieve, by her assumption, body and soul. St Beuno's allows us the time and space to be attentive and obedient and trust in God's call in a very unique and similar way to that in which Our Lady modelled for us in turn of the century downtrodden Judea.
Ave Maria
Gratia plena
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus fructus ventris Tui, Jesus
Sancta Maria
Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae
Signed: Christopher McGuinness