The Woman in Whom Divinity and Humanity Rhyme
In ‘Mary in the Mystery’ theologian Father Thomas J Norris beautifully articulates the nature of Mary Mother of God as “the woman in whom divinity and humanity rhyme”.
Father Norris brings Mary to life as a woman deeply steeped in awareness of the Old Testament. He expresses her as the meeting point between Salvation history (the story of Abraham and the God of Israel) and the Christian Mystery born through Christ.
In a simple yet richly developed structure of three parts, Father Norris places Christ, and by extension Mary, within humankind’s search for answers to the human heart and mind. He describes how Man and God are “searching” for each other, as portrayed in the call out of Egypt. Father Norris writes that God and Man are two partners in dialogue with one another. The dialogue reaches it’s fulfilment in Mary and the Incarnation, where God makes his “final move”.
In the second part if the book, Father Norris looks at “the adventure of Mary, her own unique spirituality”. He describes how Mary is “wrapped in the Word” and how she is the greatest “hearer and doer of the Word”, standing before the God of Israel with an attitude of total readiness. Always ready to do His will, Mary enables God to carry out a “gathering into unity of the scattered children of God” (Jn 11:52). At the foot of the Cross God is able to form His family of the children of God when Jesus gives Mary to John as his mother and then John to Mary as her son.
This idea is extended in the third chapter where Father Norris describes Mary’s entry into the mission of Christ and his Church. At the foot of the Cross Mary receives her mission of “second motherhood” writes Norris. She “now receives her mission of a motherhood set into the communion of the Church. The Son puts her forward to the point of appointing her Mother of all the redeemed”.
This beautiful and concise book explains the context around Catholic Mariology. It draws from Scripture, theology and poetry to firmly identify why Mary is exalted in Catholic doctrine. It provides a very optimistic look at the Mother of God, recognising that our understanding of her is unfolding and revealed, rather than fixed and static.
Through the depths of revelation and the history of the Church, Father Norris confidently and inspiringly explains the importance and sanctity of Mary in the communion of the Church.
‘Mary in the Mystery’ by Thomas J Norris is published by New City Press and available online at:-