In 2013 I taught two Bible Studies that focused on Mary. The first was in Lent and was titled Mary Our Jewish Mother: The Human and Divine Feminine in Ancient Israel. The second was in Advent, Annunciation Stories. A few of us found ourselves writing our own versions of the ancient Hail Mary prayer for the closing liturgy that we created together. This a version of the Hail Mary I wrote in that context.
The images and theology here point to the themes of the course. I recognize the influence of Carl Jung's analytic psychology in the vision of our psyche/soul as a matrix of riverbeds through which divine energy flows. Jung taught that this matrix of the mind channels divine energy in such a way that the power enters into our consciousness through emotion and image. Our conscious understanding translates this power into archetypes such as "male" and "female," "human" and "earth."
"Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee
I acknowledge the matrix of my own soul,
Created expressly to channel divine communion.
Neural pathways that act as riverbeds
for Grace flowing from the Source
"Blessed art thou among women
I acknowledge the female within us all.
adamah (earth) to our adam (humanity).
The originating force that births the universe.
The internal dwelling place of our own power and creativity.
"And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
I acknowledge the male within us all -- adam from adamah.
The impulse towards all action in the world.
Mother God is not done yet!
We are the body of Christ. We are stewards of the Earth.
Can we live into that awesome responsibility?
"Holy Mary, Mother of God
I acknowledge the fear that tempts me
to reject the Divine and Embodied Feminine and all that symbolizes Her.
Holy Mother, we owe you life and we are terrified of your capacity to destroy us.
But when we let you, you hold us in exquisite love, truth, and beauty.
In your lap we learn how to love and hold each other.
"...for us sinners
I acknowledge the vulnerability and adaptability of my soul’s matrix.
In intercourse with everything in our culture,
in our communities and in our most intimate relationships,
Our riverbeds may habituate to channel powers other than Yours.
"Pray... now and in the hour of our death. Amen"
And so I pray directly to you:
Spirit of Celibate Mind!
Let me cede control and trust that reality will hold me
As I accept whatever change may come
And open myself to live the whole.
Hail Mary image by Alexander Berne