The Allure of Average: Marian Ramifications



As a people, we are smitten by the allure of average. This standard in spirituality, which is so easily reachable, does neither the human person, nor our Catholic heritage, any valued service whatsoever. First, it represses the vision of the dignity which God has granted humanity, and secondly, it obscures the uniqueness of the favor granted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Could it be that much of the current anti-Marian mentality is fed by a minimalistic perspective on humanity’s value? If we worship average, we cannot appreciate the favor granted to Mary. Nonetheless, the Blessed Virgin Mary remains the icon of human dignity.


In today’s generation, as in days gone by, much of our effort is centered on gratifying our whims and fancies. We worship our image and likeness and lavish extravagant gifts upon our wounded feelings and inconvenienced selves hoping to continue the appearance of being better than those miserable souls around us. It is exhausting to consider spending time and effort in areas which may not provide immediate results. So we, in our age of luxury, have done everything possible to protect our fragile existence from anything that hints at accountability, responsibility, and even the pursuit of greatness. Possibly pursuing glory for the sake of satisfying a new craving could be permissible, but certainly not for the purpose of falling in sync with a Maker unseen and unmoldable. We shall not resort back to days of mythic oppression in this period of luminous reason. It will either be a deity of our choosing or it will be none at all.


Today though, we look about and the heroic examples are awfully average. What we have idealized reflects the inflation of self with little or no concern of the other. When our strivings seem to fall short of these societal standards we either deceive one another by parading the constant injustice with which we have been treated, gathering needed support, or we numb our measly existence with exorbitant purchases pretending we are the definition of royalty, or in moments of extreme desperation consuming narcotics may erase the daunting reality we seem to occasionally find ourselves in. There have been times of increased applause for those existing in a state of delayed adolescence where responsibility and accountability are non existent. It is also here that greatness can be modified to whatever narcissistic dreams one creates. In this state, the only thing that matters is how we view the world and its view of us. We cannot see past average.


What this obsession with self and defense against responsible existence has done is distracted a generation from the still small voice of God. By pretending that our age of technological advancement is beyond the fanciful notions of traditional spirituality, the neo-enlightened created Frankenstein threatens to snuff out the beauty of humanity. In dwarfing our expectations and ignoring the primordial questions of matters beyond self-satisfaction we have forced one another to view existence and others as utilitarianistic and disposable, based singularly upon our whims.

The dumbing down of expectations, the minimalizing existence to various forms of entertainment, and the denial of accountability and spirituality have diminished our moment in time to something sadly unmemorable.


Even within Christianity, the body seems shriveled from conformity to the emaciated values of the world rather than the image of Christ! Within the familiar trappings of Christianity unity is found in battling the overt evils which strike at the core of our spiritual senses, yet it is the subtle noxious undercurrents of complacency and minimal expectancy which has crippled our ability to become heroic or even identify true heroism. We have few exemplary role models today because few believe such heights are possible. We have lowered our expectations so much that the smallest hint of a spiritual life seems monumental, this juxtaposed to the sea of complacent Christian expressions, let alone the onslaught of worldly decadence. As a result of this flood of mediocrity even within our own walls, we tuck our unconventional saints into the quiet corner with acceptable labels such as legendary or mythical, created and sustained to service the awkward needs of the uneducated and babbling masses, enchanted with illusory days gone by. We redirect other saintly expressions from heroic models of self-donation to primarily relevant models of social service, and in the end we succeed in making everyone else seem just like us. On rare occasion, another is granted a slight nod of recognition for generous acts, yet our attention is quickly drawn to the latest tabloid scandal or millionaire gone awry.


Along these lines consider the jolt one feels upon hearing terms such as, Queen of the Universe, Immaculately Conceived, Mary assumed body and soul into Heaven, and Mother of God! How can such extreme verbiage ever be applied to one as average as our own? How is it remotely possible that a girl situated in a time of feminine oppression could truly rise to such heights? Certainly she is a model in ways we aren’t; yet, let us not become too carried away in our ejaculatory praises. We must contain her honor within these small boxes we have created lest we be labeled devotionally extreme. Such adulat