Mary and the Eclipse

There is of course a great deal that has been written about the spiritual significance of the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. I like one article in particular, at http://catholicexchange.com/mary-great-american-solar-eclipse, which discusses in detail the relationship between the eclipse and various Marian apparitions.

In this post, I'd like to share a brief personal reflection on Mary and the meaning of the eclipse for me.

To me, Mary's role is to reflect the light of Christ. Her mission is very much like the moon, which reflects the light of the sun. One of my favorites prayers for Mary's intercession is that she will, like the full moon, reflect the light of Jesus more fully and more intensely to a humanity that desperately needs this light.

Every time I see a full moon, then, I think of Mary. There have been some special times in my life, on nights when the sky was filled with clouds, that I would be prompted to look up. Each of these times, the clouds parted for just a second or two and exposed a full moon.

When this happens, I'm inclined to think that, even though Mary has done so much to evangelize the world, why hasn't she done even more? My own answer to this question is that even Mary, whose heart burns with the desire for all of humanity to love and embrace her Son, has to respect the right of every human being to choose freely whether to accept or reject Jesus. So she has to be careful about doing too much, about possibly infringing on our freedom by revealing in too dramatic a fashion some aspect of her Son's majesty and power.

For me, as for others, the eclipse is at least a warning that humanity has a tendency to favor the darkness over the light, and that God and members of the celestial army, including Mary, allow this to happen, at least for a time. I think a special saint for our times is St Maximilian Kolbe, who started his ministry, the Militia of the Immaculate, in or near 1918, the last time there was a total eclipse of the sun and a time also marked by worldwide confusion. St. Maximilian encouraged his followers to avoid the confusion by seeking guidance and clarity from Mary.

In 2017, a time marked by confusion even in the Catholic Church, we would do well to draw closer to Mary, whom we can rely on to keep us on the straight path. We might want more illumination from her, but the light she provides will always be sufficient.