Saturday, September 15, 2012

Simple Marian Devotions #1

I found that when I became interested in Marian devotions, it was difficult to know where to begin.  Now that I have had some time to develop certain practices, I would like to share them in a series that will hopefully be simple to follow.  As I have mentioned before, in my studies of the Chinese bodhisattva Kuan Yin, I noticed similarities between this being of compassion and Jesus and Mary.  In fact, Kuan Yin historically has taken on an undeniable likeness to the Blessed Mother.  Therefore it was easy for me to appropriate a Kuan Yin meditation chant by Lisa Thiel to an invocation of the spiritual presence of Mary.

Here are the original lyrics (you can listen to the song to learn the tune at, Lisa Thiel - Part 1: "Waters of Compassion")--

Mantra--Namo Kwan Shi Yin Pu Sa
To the One Who hears all the cries of the world, I call to You to invoke Your grace
Mother of Compassion, Goddess of Mercy
I offer You all the burdens of my heart, That I may become empty, To be open to receive Your blessings
This world is filled with suffering, Yet You, our Savioress, offer us solace
Mother of Compassion, Goddess of Mercy
I offer out into the world, All the love that you have given to me, For the sake of all sentient beings

When I sing my version, which is acoustically nice to do in the shower, I begin with:
"To the one who hears all the cries of the world, I call to you to invoke your grace;
Mother of Compassion, Ave Maria; Mother of Compassion, Ave Maria."
Then I sing, "Hail Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe; Holy Mary, the Virgin of Guadalupe;
Queen of Heaven with the moon under her feet; Queen of Heaven with the moon under her feet."

 Our Lady of Guadalupe with St. Juan Diego

You could incorporate the other lyrics by simply replacing "Savioress" with a Marian title that appeals to you, such as Benefactress, Advocate, or Mediatrix. It is also interesting to note that Paraclete, another name for the Holy Spirit, means "one who hears the cries." This devotion thus underscores the intimate union of Mary with the Spirit of Wisdom.

I think that praying in song is especially powerful, as the Psalms of the Bible attest, and chanting gets one into a calm, peaceful, and contemplative spiritual state. You could light a candle and meditate while singing this invocation, and of course offer other prayers as they come to mind.  To replace the mantra, Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pu Sa, which is Kuan Yin's full name, you can substitute whatever name for Mary that might rhythmically fit, such as "Stella Maris, Star of the Sea."

You are free to play around with whatever lyrics resonate most with you.  My version is a place to start. The tune Lisa Thiel created is lovely, as is her ethereal voice, and despite its origins in a "goddess" type tradition, the appropriation to Mary turns it into a beautiful Christian devotion.

No comments:

Post a Comment