The Air We Breathe
The Mariology of Catherine de Hueck Doherty
This image of Our Lady—the air we breathe—truly is the heart of the matter in Catherine de Hueck Doherty’s Mariology. For her, Mary was as self-evident, omnipresent, intimate, and necessary as air.
The image is taken from Gerard Manley Hopkin’s poem, “The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe.”2 There, Mary is so present to the life of the believer that “men are meant to share her life as life does air.” This sharing of Mary’s life enables Christ to make of us “new Nazareths… where she shall yet conceive… new Bethlehems, and he born.”
Mary is the air we breathe. But wait a minute: what on earth can this mean? This woman is a finite creature, who came into being and existed precisely in the common mode and manner of all creatures. How can she possibly encompass us to such a degree that her life becomes our life? She’s not God–she’s a human being like us! Isn’t this sheer poetic excess? Perhaps this is so. Or perhaps Catherine and Hopkins know something we don’t about the Blessed Virgin Mary. That’s what this book is about: Mary’s role, the Marian air, and why we must breathe it or perish.
Product ID: AIB-AWB039, 175pp, laminated softcover