“Dost thou hold wisdom to be anything other than truth, wherein we behold and embrace the supreme good?” -St. Augustine
If wisdom is indeed analogous to truth, then this morning I had a big dose of it. It did not come from the regimen of prayer, Biblical or devotional reading to which I have committed for these three months.
Rather it was from a podcast in the Laudate app called “Heart of Mary.” The topics are not always overtly Marian, but the sign-off is always the same: “To Jesus, through Mary.”
For my non-Catholic friends a brief explanation: this particular phrase explains Catholic devotion to Mary. It is not that our relationship to Jesus isn’t personal and direct – it is.
Rather, by modeling ourselves after Mary’s virtues and seeking a relationship with him that approaches her ways, our hearts can become that much more united to his.
She is the example of the perfect Christian, the Mother of God made man and – as brothers and sisters in Christ – she is therefore our spiritual Mother as well.
Back to the podcast. I was catching up the past few days and it was yesterday’s that sparked a recognition of truth about myself.
The subject was the Ten Commandments, most particularly the First Commandment regarding idolatry:
“I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2-3)
It suddenly hit me that of all the things in my life that I sometimes let take precedence over my relationship with God, romantic love is my greatest idol.
Since my teen years, I have been obsessed with the idea of finding that one person with whom I will perfectly fit so that I am somehow made “whole.”
Except because we live in a broken world, that idol can be worshiped, but it is idling away time to do so. While Eve was created to “fit” Adam perfectly, that perfection was broken when Original Sin entered the scene.
So many of us pine to find that special “someone” whose presence will be our surety against the buffets of life’s storms.
Yet I know from my first broken marriage, no human person can ever fulfill that worshipful fantasy.
Recently I had come to the conclusion that because I had a new understanding of the sacramental meaning of marriage and its reflection of Trinitarian love, I was developing a relationship with someone who better fulfilled a Catholic definition for the coming together of two lives.
But truth can’t be built on a false predicate. And I will never enjoy a sacramental marriage as long as I put finding a partner before continuing to seek God in all things.
I am an idolator in this and perhaps other ways I have not yet recognized. We all have idols of one sort or another. We just need to be truthful and confess them to ourselves and to God.
But with God’s grace, I pray someday to always seek his kingdom first.
To Jesus through Mary.