But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls.
I am a quiet person.
My parents named me Mary, after the mother of Jesus. I do not know what Mary was like in her public life, but I do know how she appears in my dreams.
She appears to me as someone who is quiet in her power and powerful in her quietness. Her power includes her privacy, her capacity to ponder things in her heart. She likes to think about things before speaking, and after she's been around people for a long period of time, she feels a little drained.
She is not preoccupied with self-presentation, with being noticed. She doesn't want five minutes of fame, just twenty minutes of quietness after a long day.
Sometimes she needs to go to lonely places and meditate on the mystery. I think Jesus got a little of this from her. He, too, would go to lonely places. He was made in her image.
Often late at night I offer a Mary Prayer. It is a prayer to the divine mystery who whose presence Mary carries in her heart. My prayer goes like this:
Oh Holy One who dwells in the center of the universe and in the center of my heart, thank you for the gift of quietness. Thank you for your love of quiet people. Toward what kind of creativity do you call us in these times? Does the world need still more listening? We will follow.
I have to admit it. Sometimes I do feel like the world adores people who talk too much, and doesn't quite realize that how important listening it. I am glad God calls me to be an introvert.
My prayer is also inspired by a process theologian whose work I studied in college. Her name is Catherine Keller, and her book On the Mystery is one of my favorite books. With Catherine Keller's help I have come to think of my quietness as part of God's multiplicity. God's glory.
For my part I think of this mystery in terms of depth rather than heighth. God is not so much above us as a higher power but rather deeper than us.
"Deep calls to deep in the roar of waterfalls," says the Psalmist. I think God is the face of the deep.
There's something mystical about a theologian like Catherine Keller. Mystics say that God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere. The circle is vast and deep and always unfolding. It includes humans, butterflies, atoms, and angels, for example.
God is One, to be sure. But God is also many. Like Catherine Keller says, God is a multiplicity, too.
Maybe the picture on the left can help you understand what Catherine Keller means. The Holy One is the spiral and all the stick figures are creatures gathered into the life of the Holy One. The colored shapes represent callings from the Holy One.
Do you see the stick figure in the diagram above? That's me. I'm responding to my calling, which is in red. My calling is to be a quiet person: quiet in my strength and strong in my quietness. Like Mary. I'm made in her image, or she in mine. Jesus is made in our image.
People might worry that I feel lonely, but this is not true. Actually I feel more connected to other things with help from my quiet side. I make space for them so that they can show themselves. I listen to them. That's part of my calling. To be a space-maker, a listener, a deep who listens to the Deep.
I admit it. I know that the divine mystery calls some people to be extroverts, too. Some of my best friends are extroverts!
Here again Catherine Keller helps. She says that differences in personality, like differences in culture and race, ethnicity and religion, make the whole of the world richer. They make God richer, too. I'll close with another prayer.
Oh Holy One, thank you for extroverts, too. Some people have to figure out what they are thinking as they talk. Help us to realize that they, even they, have a place in your multi-chambered heart. But please ask them to speak softly and make space for the quiet ones. Let them take a little space for listening, so that they can hear how much we love them.