Hail Mary -- The wisdom of a subversive devotion
Coming in from the bright sunlight, a woman kneels before an altar in the dimness of the church; she has lit a small candle, and with many other small candles the light is reflected off glinting fabrics and jewels adorning the statue of the Mother of God. Crowned, lifted up, peaceful of gaze, she holds the Child on her lap, yet he is less noticeable. It is the great Mother to whom prayers are addressed, by women living in cultures-and a church-that gives little respect and less power to women. What does she think, the woman who lights the candle and prays to Mary?