The New Eve

I was prowling the Internet this morning, the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, and I came across in several of my favorite blogs a beautiful story that was first publicized a few years ago in First Things magazine.

In preparing her abbey’s annual Christmas card in 2005, a Trappistine nun in Iowa wrote a beautiful poem of Mary addressing Eve:

O Eve!

My mother, my daughter, life-giving Eve,

Do not be ashamed, do not grieve.

The former things have passed away,

Our God has brought us to a New Day.

See, I am with Child,

Through whom all will be reconciled.

O Eve! My sister, my friend,

We will rejoice together

Forever

Life without end.

(Sr. Columba Guare copyright© 2005 Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey)

One of her sisters then drew this stunning picture for the card:

It is one of the oldest traditions of the Church to view Mary as the New Eve. She replaced Eve’s “No” with her “Yes”, just as Jesus is the New Adam, whose obedience overcomes the disobedience of the Old Adam.

What a beautiful expression of the virtues of hope and faith are in this image, showing the New Eve comforting the Old Eve, calling her forebear to believe in the salvation that she carries in her virginal womb. It also evokes the Scriptural image of Mary crushing the serpent’s head, while its tail is entwined around the victim of its primordial lies. My favorite part of the picture though, is the tender way in which Mary invites Eve to feel the movements of the baby Jesus in her womb, and offers her comfort with a loving sisterly caress.

O Mary my Queen, the New Eve of our race, obtain for me the graces I need in this new year to embrace your Son, the New Adam, the source of our redemption, who makes all things new.

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