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SOUL SONG OF MOTHER MARY IN EPHESUS



Herman Richer painting La Madone

Mother Mary did not stay long in Jerusalem with its rumour and tumult. She needed to find silence and stillness to integrate the deep well of loss known only to a mother, and the profound memories permeating her whole being. That’s why she journeyed north to Ephesus with the Beloved Disciple. He formed a community of Christ followers there on the outskirts of that city. He taught both men and women about the awesome mystery of his master’s resurrection and they called him ‘John’ because of his aura of grace. And there Mary found the peace she longed for.


She was greatly revered, and when she ended her time of seclusion the community never tired of hearing about the life of her holy son from her own mouth.

 

Now in the late afternoon Mary sits in the long shadow of an old tabor oak with the women and girls gathered about her. A few are with child; some nurse little ones. They are singing in thanks for the feminine creative power, precious as a pure pearl, that enables a soul to enter the world.


Mother Mary notices a disturbance in the energy made by a woman approaching. It is Salome, returned from Jerusalem. Mary welcomes her and invites her to sit and share any news.

‘Oh, one amazing thing,’ Salome says breathlessly. ‘A man called Luke has been writing about you, Mother. He has included words you said when you became pregnant, or what he was told that you said. I have never heard you speak so. But I was there when he read it to the Jerusalem gathering.’


Mary smiles. ‘Well, so much has been spread and some of it written down. But go on.’


‘It began like this: My soul magnifies the lord, you said. And: The child in my womb means that all generations will call me blessed. Well, we are all sure of that.’ The women agree.


Salome continues, ‘And then he said you sang out like the Hebrew prophetesses, like Miriam and Deborah, and Hannah, Huldah and the others. You prophesied that the rulers on their thrones, the proud, the rich and greedy will be cast down, and the Lord will raise up the hungry and destitute instead.’


The listeners gasp and turn to one another chattering and questioning. Mother Mary, although known as the most wise, is not considered to be forthright like those ancient prophetesses. Now she waits, deep in thought while the women settle.    

     

‘Dear sisters,’ she says at last. ‘I need to speak with you about what the world-changing events surrounding my son and me have meant for my soul. And of the meaning for your souls. As you know, I was just sixteen years of age when the angel Gabriel spoke to me, announcing that I would be mother to a holy child. Yet already there was a longing in my heart. Often the feeling perplexed me, yet I knew that it came from a pure place.’


A woman asks, ‘Mother, you have told us you were troubled by this announcement, and you even questioned the angel. Why is that?’


‘Yes, I was troubled. First the message seemed too grand for a mere girl. I had to accept my worth. When the angel declared to me that I was beloved of the gods I had to allow this to sink in.’


Mary surveys these women, so diverse and so dear to her. ‘Beloveds, for all of us an angel speaks through our inner intuition which tells us that we are accepted and loved by the divine realms. Be assured the angel will speak to each of you. You only need to be open.’


These words have brought tears to many eyes. Then a girl seated near asks, ‘But Mother, what of your loss. How is that being loved?’ There’s a rush of consternation as the others shush her.


Mary shakes her head. ‘No, it’s a good question. When my son was but eight days old, I was given the knowledge that a sword would pierce my soul because of his destiny. So that knowing always accompanied my love.’ She places her hand on the girl’s arm. ‘Value your tears that will surely come. In your tears and your pain, you can experience your yearning soul. Value the feelings that emerge when you are stirred by great beauty or by deep sadness. They are part of the tenderness and love-longing within. It comes from the part of the soul where love simply wants to express itself.’


‘Mother, you sing in our hearts. That is like the prophetesses.’ a woman declares. Another asks, ‘Would you sing for us now, as Miriam sister of Moses did beside the sea?’ The women respond eagerly, ‘Yes, please do.’


Mary laughs. ‘Well, I was so young, and my soul was filled to overflowing with the spirit. It resonated so wonderfully in me I had to let it free. But yes, I am happy to join the ancestresses in prophecy. I will sing to you, although it will be different. For we live in a new age that my beloved son’s offering brought into being. Listen well. My words will not be about a god that punishes wrong and makes things better for us. I will sing about the inner voice of the spiritual self, mine and yours. Our dear elder John rightly calls this our I Am.’


Mother Mary stands, opens her arms and sings:  

‘What pricks the prideful desires of our ego,

and dispels our wishful thinking?

It is the voice of I Am.

What wakens us to the worldly delusions  

that ever deceive the soul?

It is the light of our I Am.’


She clasps her hands now, as if in prayer.

‘Know that the soul thirsting for I Am,

will be filled with heavenly grace.

And when that grace is expressed in deeds of compassion,

offered to others in their need,

and compassion too for our own soul’s striving

when we fail to reach the highest ideal, as we will,

I Am raises us up to remember who we are,

as children of heaven.’  

      

Mary walks among the women, not singing now although music remains in her voice.

‘There is a womb-like place in every soul that waits to conceive the holy child which is the I Am. Beloved sisters, the angel Gabriel will speak within your soul when you are inwardly prepared to receive your spiritual self. Then the angel’s words to you will be as they were to me.’


When Mary returns to her place again the women spontaneously turn to one another and smile, for they have heard the gracious soul song of Mother Mary and her voice like a clear flowing stream has entered every heart. She says, ‘Our soul’s home is in the heavens, and the memory lives on when we come to earth. I would love each of you to realise that your purpose, the reason you are here on earth, is to bring forth the holy child within your being, and for this child to grow strong and bright as your living truth.’

 

Then she rises to embrace each one of them before all depart into the coming night.

 




Painting - 'La Madone' by Herman Richer, 1866-1942

Mary's nativity story is in Gospel of Luke chapters 1 and 2

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