Mary, Woman for Today
In 2018, our Graduate Certificate students in Adelaide are studying Marist Methodology in Catholic Education. In particular they are looking at how Marists establish their educational communities 'in the way of Mary'. This approach has its roots in the mind and heart of St Marcellin Champagnat who established the first Marist schools. In Module 6 of this Graduate Certificate Course, students focus on how, in Marist schools, teaching and learning is influenced by a Marian approach. Indicators of this approach include
1. Striving to become more contemplative people who respond spontaneously to the calls of God;
2. Endeavouring to form a communal culture with everyone participating and
3. Learning to 'expect the unexpected' or in the words of Gerard Hughes S.J. to be ready for the 'God of Surprises'.
Throughout her life, Mary showed a keen desire to respond positively. She agreed, for example, to become the mother of Jesus. She followed her intuition to visit Elizabeth, her cousin who was in need and she agreed to be patient when her Son informed her at the marriage feast at Cana that 'His time had not come'.
This leads each of us to reflect on what the Spirit is asking of us now, both in our work and in our personal lives and to assess how we are responding to these calls. It challenges us to see Mary as a woman for our times, a woman who engages in life to the full, who is clear about what she believes and not afraid to express this competently and compassionately. After all, Mary's pondering in her heart must not be confused with any lack of clarity about the direction she sees for her life. Throughout, she embraces life in all its dimensions.