2012년 3월 26일 월요일

Our Lady and Annunciation

De Maria, numquam satis.

I am very sorry this post was rather late.
It is still the Feast of Annunciation across the Atlantic so Happy Feast, brothers in Faith!
It was a First Class Feast so we could all enjoy some dispensations from our Lenten observances. Another was St Joseph's day.

I am going to put up a painting that might raise some of your eyebrows...
Kim Ki Chang, South Korean Catholic Artist, Annunciation
I have already used Fra Angelico's painting of the Annunciation which is without a reasonable doubt the best depiction of Our Lady's Annunciation, with all its rich endowment of Biblical symbolism and the sublime countenance of Our Lady; in awe and wonder, not in fear. But Our Lady is quite beautifully drawn in this picture as well.
Now that I have said "nice" things about this picture, let me say not so "nice" things about this picture also.
In Korean custom, only married ladies wore navy skirts; Our Lady was only engaged, not yet quite married, upon the point of Annunciation. There can be a couple of possible justifications for this. First one is that it was the artist's adaptation of Her status. Confucianism demanded almost schizophrenic separation between men and women so until marriage, they could not even sit in a same room. Women of noble or royal births could not speak to men without blinds stopping them from exchanging glances. So the artist might have adapted it to mean that Our Lady and St Joseph could be considered married in Korean terms. Their relationship was indeed, in modern terms, closer than betrothal but not quite Marriage yet. Or maybe, the following. Before Our Lady says "Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.", Angel Gabriel does indeed say "Ave, gratia plena." Therefore, even before she conceived Our Blessed Lord, Our Lady was already "full of Grace". Specifically, Sanctifying Grace.

Since the end and aim of all efficacious grace is directed to the production of sanctifying grace where it does not already exist, or to retain and increase it where it is already present, its excellence, dignity, and importance become immediately apparent; for holiness and the sonship of God depend solely upon the possession of sanctifying grace, wherefore it is frequently called simply grace without any qualifying word to accompany it as, for instance, in the phrases "to live in grace" or "to fall from grace".


Her Soul enjoyed a specific, Divinely ordained Sanctifying Grace from Her Immaculate Conception. The very fact that She was Immaculately conceived, needless to stress, is a Divinely ordained Grace on Her. Her Soul was ordained to be the bride of Holy Ghost from Her very conception. Our Lady did get to say "Fiat mihi, secundum verbum tuum." (Luke 1:38) but I believe God knew from the beginning that She will confess Her all-consuming Love and Desire to be His Bride. It is also the case that She is ever-Virgin as She is the Singular Vessel of the Holy Ghost, eternally married to Her God. Bluntly put, Our Blessed Lord has made one ever-sufficient Sacrifice on Calvary and no one else but Our Blessed Lady was chosen, once and for all eternity. She is the ONLY Mother of God. There are ancient writings such as Protoevangelium of James that supports this idea of Our Lady's Eternal Virginity known to have been written in sub-apostolic era but the case is already more than clear to show that Our Lady's Vocation (as Divine Will), as it were, was to be married to Holy Ghost and St Joseph's was to remain Her guardian throughout his life.
It is extremely insulting to see certain misled christian leaders saying Our Lady was not perpetually virgin and broke the vow of Her Eternal Matrimony. The insult is so damning it eclipses and almost does not give St Joseph a chance to be insulted about it, for it is first and foremost an insult to Holy Ghost. They will be held accountable for such insults before the judgment seat. And they can jolly well expect to see Our Heavenly Queen seated on Our Lord's side.

Speaking of Divine Will, my name in Korean means some thing like that (Jimin/지민/).
I have always liked my name very much and I have always been grateful to my parents for it. But having written most of today's post on Our Lady's Annunciation, I feel unworthy of such a name. Her humble "Fiat" was Her answer to Divine Providence, Divine Providence none else but that of mankind's Salvation. She experienced Divine Providence not as a speculation (e.g. It must have been providential!) but physically; as She said these words, God the Holy Ghost entered Her, the Second Ark of the Covenant, protected from all stains and impurities and dwelt in Her. Nobody else experienced Divine Providence in any remotely similar way as She did. What a truly wonderful Mother we have, indeed!

I have composed a collection of short verses in Korean and English below in Her Honour. She takes up all our sincere prayers to Our Lord's Throne of Mercy however unworthy they may be. I hope She finds them pleasing to Her ears!

어머니 당신님을 목놓아 체읍하며 한없이 그립니다
별보다 반짝이는 당신의 눈동자에 진리를 품으시고
오뉴월 꽃밭보다 포근한 무릎맡에 진리를 눕히시고
십이월 눈밭보다 더하얀 가슴안에 진리를 묻으셨던
어머니 당신님을 목놓아 체읍하며 한없이 그립니다
Mother my soul weeps in longing for thee.
Who conceived Truth in your eyes brighter than stars,
Who laid Truth on your knees fairer than May flowers,
Who buried Truth in your Heart whiter than December snows,
Mother my soul weeps in longing for thee.

I think it works better in Korean. I still pray in Korean when I do mental prayers, even after eight years of study in England!
Verse 3 refers to the moments where Our Blessed Lord would have lied on His Mother's knees, listening to Her sweet lullabies as a child.
Verse 4 refers to Her Immaculate Heart and Our Lord's death.
We say in Korean that when a son passes away before his mother, his mother buries him in her heart as the grief is so great and never forgettable that it is ineffaceably engraved in her heart. The last picture is so painful to see it is almost savage; but such was the Passion of Our Lord (and the brutality of men still has not been tamed yet) and such was Her pain of burying Her Son in Her Heart and in a tomb. Interestingly enough, the tomb was a new one, too; never been used. Could there be some significance to that?

A parting gift for today is Diffusa est gratia, graduale for the feast in 1962 Missal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAry6M8YOzw

댓글 3개:

  1. Jimin,

    I think you have it wrong on this Icon. Her Navy chima/san/gun has nothing to do with her earthly matrimonial status. Instead, it points to her status as divine spouse of the Holy Ghost. The annunciation is the moment of that heavenly wedding, and the beginning of a most perfect marriage.

    btw, I see a very light blue Magoja hung up. Is there any significance to that color?

    1. So far as I know, there was no specific custom on the colour of Magoja. What is hung on the wall does not seem like a Magoja to me; it seems more like Jang-ot which was worn by women for etiquette when they were leaving their houses. The reason I was confused with the colour scheme was because whilst her shirt colour scheme denoted She was indeed an unmarried virgin Lady (yellow+red), Her skirt was navy which meant She was married. Also, whilst some paintings do indeed use navy for Our Lady, Her blue is not navy; it is Lapis from Lapis Lazuli. That is a custom from the Medieval Ages. As soon as I get enough information on this, I am going to write about Our Lady's blue.

      Lastly, I do not think I have it wrong at all; have you read on? Later on in the article I say something like "Her Soul was ordained to be the bride of Holy Ghost from Her very conception.". So I was analysing (however unsuccessfully!) the picture and moved onto the significance of Her Immaculate Conception and how it was somewhat of a precursor (but Her being conceived and Her conceiving Our Lord are two separate events, not to get mixed up) to Annunciation. If staying in state of Grace means the life of God is in you, Our Lady who was born in such state and never ceased to be in that state must have had the life of God in Her always; as though the two were married!
      Mariology is rewarding to think and write about but it is also very sensitive in that one must choose the words very wisely. I am only learning so please, if there are any major errors, please correct me.

      In any case, thank you for your contribution!

    2. By the way, are you korean? How did you know skirt in Korean was chima?