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The Healing Strength of Mary’s Stillness & Silence at Calvary

When you tread again, with Christian tradition, the road to Calvary, you recall the meeting between Jesus and His Mother; but you notice that there is no word spo­ken, no action done. It is the same at the end: she stands at the foot of the Cross, but she is silent and still. And indeed, what you notice about the story of the Passion as a whole is the striking contrast between the quiet stillness of those who love Him and the ceaseless activity of His enemies.

The priests are called in haste to the midnight session of the Sanhedrin. The traitor Judas runs to and fro. There is the Temple guards and the Roman soldiery; the agitation of Pilate; the bustle of the palace, probably the unprecedented upset of a visit by night from the high priest. Over all, there is the clamor and movement, the shouting and disturbance, of the Jewish mob. But the central figures are still.

Jesus allows Himself to be led hither and thither, yes, but in Himself He is stillness; He scarcely speaks. Mary follows to the end, but again she is silent; she does nothing: she stands motionless, rigid, supporting her Son. There is something—something absolutely essential—that we must learn from her. Her vocation was to be a mother, wrapped up in the work of her Son. And for many years, for thirty years, that meant a life of ceaseless activity, a life of hard work, for Him. But then the time came when she was no longer needed: He had to begin His own work in the world. And so, as you see in the Gospels, she withdraws into the background. You hear almost nothing of her, until the end. And then she is there; she is with Him — not to work now, not to be active, only to love and suffer and be still. 

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