Monday, May 27, 2013

Testimony of Henry Adams Concerning the Virgin – Grandson of John Quincy, and Great Grandson of John Adams. Not Catholic - Yet Penetrating Insight Into The Blessed Virgin Mary: Mont-Saint Michel and Chartres Doubleday Anchor (1959) 307-308.

   "True it was, although one should not say it jestingly, that the Virgin embarrassed the Trinity; and perhaps this was the reason, behind all the other excellent reasons, why men loved and adored her with a passion such as no other deity has ever inspired: and why we, although utter strangers to her, are not far from getting down on our knees and praying to her still. Mary concentrated in herself the whole rebellion of man against fate; the whole protest against divine law; the whole contempt for human law as its outcome; the whole unutterable fury of human nature beating itself against the walls of its prison-house, and suddenly seized by a hope that in the Virgin man had found a door of escape. She knew that the universe was as unintelligible to her, on any theory of morals, as it was to her worshipers, and she felt, like them, no sure conviction that it was any more intelligible to the Creator of it. To her, every suppliant was a universe in itself, to be judged apart, on his own merits, by his love for her - by no means on his orthodoxy, or his conventional standing in the Church, or according to his correctness in defining the nature of the Trinity. The convulsive hold which Mary to this day maintains over human imagination - as you can see at Lourdes - was due much less to her power of saving soul or body than to her sympathy with people who suffered under law - divine or human - just or unjustly, by accident or design, by decree of God or by guile of Devil. She cared not a straw for conventional morality, and she had no notion of letting her friends be punished, to the tenth or any other generation, for the sins of their ancestors or the peccadilloes of Eve.

  So Mary filled heaven with a sort of persons little to the taste of any respectable middle-class society, which has trouble enough in making this world decent and pay its bills, without having to continue the effort in another. Mary stood in a Church of her own, so independent that the Trinity might have perished without much affecting her position,; but, on the other hand, the Trinity could look on and see her dethroned with almost a breath of relief....." (p. 307)

The "Juggler (Tambeor - acrobat) of Notre Dame” who could do nothing well but did his acrobatics before the Blessed Sacrament and the image of Our Lady (after which she came down and wiped the sweat from his forehead) is pp. 312-318 in poetry. 

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