Today (December 8), Catholics observe the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On this day, we recall that God was preparing Mary to be the mother of Jesus even from her own creation in the womb. It's a reminder to us that God is preparing us for great things, too.
On Wednesday (December 12), the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe -- the appearance of Mary in 1531 in Mexico to Saint Juan Diego. Long one of the great days of the year for the Church in Mexico, this feast is now widely observed in the United States as well.
In all of human history, few (if any) individuals have been more frequently depicted in paintings and sculpture than Mary. And, after working in Catholic publishing for nearly six years, I've seen many of these renderings. But, this photo of a sculpture of Mary and child did recently catch my eye:
I love the statue's simplicity and the way it fits so easily into this modern chapel in southern California.
The statue is a fine representation of the Church's understanding that Mary's role is bring Jesus forward. It aligns well with the Orthodox and Eastern title of Mary: Theotokos or "God-bearer."
This photo is by Sister Rose Pacatte, FSP.