Nativity of the Theotokos, Prosenikovo, 2016
We do well to envision the family at Nazareth as people engaged in a struggle for their faith, bravely facing all life’s difficulties in their complete surrender to God’s supreme rule. The true and complete picture of Mary’s life is not to be found in the apocrypha of the New Testament, but in the sober account of the Gospels. Her life does not follow the pattern of a fairy-tale, like that of Snow-White. No little forest birds hold her clothes in their beaks and carry her away out of reach of danger to the accompaniment of sweet, heavenly music. If this were so, she would not be an example of strength for us in our day-to-day struggle with the harsh realities of a life which is anything but a fairy-tale.
Mary’s life was, like ours, truly human, and she was also involved in the same sort of oppressive, hopeless and often apparently insoluble social situations in which every human being is at some time or another placed. But she showed us, by her example, how faith in the mystery of the living God is stronger than human life, stronger, too, than death—even the death of her own Messiah.
The mystery of Mary’s religious life and holiness is to be found in her faith, hope, and charity.
From Mary: Mother of the Redemption by Edward Schillebeeckx: