3.             Message

Following the emotional surge that stemmed from my reading the statue’s inscription, I felt, then, that I was receiving a heavenly message directly from the Virgin Mary! Specifically, she said that she was pouring out “all of her grace on me! When perceiving this message, I thought it overwhelming. Frankly, all the Blessed Virgin’s grace seemed far, far more than I could ever need! (Although I wish that I could remember the message’s exact wording, I cannot. It may have been, “All of my grace is being poured out on you,” “I will pour over you all my grace,” or so forth.)

In quick response to my surprise over this message’s perceived excessive overabundance, I received another communication that repeated what the original had declared: all the Virgin’s grace was being, on me, poured. After this confirmation, and even though I did not understand how I, a single person, could receive all of Mary’s grace, I gratefully accepted the message’s verity with an open mind and expected that, in the future, its meaning would be revealed.

~

Importantly, I, with my Jewish background, conceptualized “grace” not exactly as would a Catholic. Specifically, in Hebrew, “grace” is a two-letter word pronounced chen. (The feminine of which is the three-letter chana, or as a name, Hanna.) As every letter in Hebrew has a meaning, chen’s (or chana’s) combined letters imply, for one, that grace is a state that overlooks inappropriate friction. That is, if someone had made a slight, with enough grace, such a faux pas would be forgotten.

To better comprehend, consider the Biblical account of Hanna (1 Sam. 1), which is, as mentioned, the name “Grace.” At first, from Eli the High Priest’s perspective, Hanna was drunk; and, he condemned her for such inappropriate behavior at the Temple. However, investigation revealed that she was not inebriated. Rather, she was emotionally wrought. Therefore, for her, he had grace: her jarring behavior was overlooked and she was blessed.

In contrast to this more-Jewish understanding of grace, and to quote from a Catholic friend of mine, “Grace is simply ‘divine encouragement’ by God’s Spirit. Water imparted upon the dry soil to help the seeds spring into life.” Hence, considering this variety of viewpoints about what is grace, and recognizing that Mary communicated to a Jew on a Catholic campus, I imagine that the message’s “grace” was some sort of complimentary combination of these perspectives.

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