Skip to comments.Amid the Ashes, a Statue of Mary Stands as a Symbol of Survival
Posted on 11/17/2012 11:04:40 AM PST by marshmallow
Where the McNulty home once stood on the corner of Oceanside and Gotham, a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean on the spit of land in Queens called Breezy Point, there now remains a charred, twisted ruin. Flooding and fire have left behind nothing but the foundation. Within it are strewed a dislodged bathtub, an air-conditioner casing battered into a helix shape, a mailbox coated with ashes.
As if all that loss were not loss enough, the storm spared a few tormenting reminders of life before its arrival. In the scorched shell of a cedar closet, screen windows stand neatly stacked. Three rolls of paper towels sit on a pantry shelf, toasted as delicately brown as cookout marshmallows.
So, yes, at the corner of Oceanside Avenue and Gotham Walk, the house inherited by the elderly McNultys niece Regina after the couple died, is a place of tragedy. It is also, astonishingly, a place of faith. For the one part of the home to survive intact was a statue of the Virgin Mary that Mary McNulty placed in her garden years ago.
The statue is one of the only recognizable remnants of the swath of Breezy Point where more than 100 homes burned to the ground while a flood kept firefighters from reaching it. Since the waters withdrew early on Oct. 30, the image of the Breezy Point Madonna has reached the nation, indeed the world, through vivid news photos. Pilgrims have come to leave offerings: a bouquet of yellow roses, four quarters, a votive candle, a memorial card for the victims of Sept. 11, a written admonition that healing begins with acceptance.
Ellen Mathis Kail knelt at the shrine five days after the catastrophe. She had spent 30 summers on Breezy Point and watched her parents save for.......
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Wonderful story. And very surprising to find it in the Old Gray Lady. Even the Times has moments of recognition and insight, it would seem.
An amazing picture and an amazing article from the NY Times, about religious faith and yet devoid of snark.
The double devastation at Breezy Point is almost too terrible to contemplate.
Look no house! - Mary in a bathtube? I would say the glass is half empty. God would say...Thou shall make unto thy selves no graven images!
I’ll take all those foul and disgusting graven images you have in your pocket.
Cute - I already gave my two little pennies in the offering plate, like the little old peasant lady whom Jesus admired. She was not worshiping her little graven coin images.
Catholics do not worship statues.
Here is the truth:
You might also want to investigate some other sacramentals:
Didja, now? Why are you telling me about it? You're not supposed to even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
She was not worshiping
Probably not, though you don't know that. Nor do you know what is going on in anybody else's mind ... unless they tell you. Presuming to judge the state of someone else's soul is even worse that worshiping a graven image. It is setting oneself up as a "god".
Delusional. Have a good day.
That’s nice and all that, but it almost seems to suggest that God cares more about symbolic statues than about human beings and their homes.
I’d rather put it down to, “Stone statues don’t burn and aren’t damaged by water.”
The subtlety is lost on the hateful Holy Rollers.
Thanks for sharing this article. I’m not Catholic but as a human it touched me to see this statue of Mary still standing.
“She was not worshiping her little graven coin images.”
And we don’t worship images either. Thanks.
Or maybe God sometimes leaves something like that behind to remind us He still loves us.
That’s a possibility ... but I’d rather He showed us He loves us by leaving the power lines. I’ll still put this to coincidental natural factors.
Well, in a way that's true. Not the statue itself, but of that for which it stands. He is reminding us of that which is eternal and infinite (in her capacity for grace), and at the same time illustrating the transient nature of the temporal (for those who had forgotten). Of course, He cares about human beings and their dwellings, but His Divine emphasis is on the Soul and its Eternal Home.
Now that's an excellent point.
How did you answer that so quick? My page had barely refreshed after posting LOL
It was a little over one minute, according to the time stamp. I’m sitting here avoiding diaper-changes and a review of the dishwashing situation.
Are you on a dial-up connection?
But seriously, I think you made the right comment. If the original posts had put it that way, instead of “Look, God saved a statue!” that would have been meaningful.
Took the four little kids for their supervised visitation today -- the father didn't show up. Whether he didn't have the money or just didn't want the bother is unknown. He at least could have contacted the visitation center and cancelled. Judge in the Family Law Court will not be impressed.
Sigh. So sad for the children, as well as a nuisance for you.
The diaper situation just came forcibly to my attention ...
The Israelites carved statutes of angels to put on the Holy Ark. Thus the prohibition is not total. We call Mary, Queen of Angels, and they and she daily praise the Most High God. She was the first follower of Christ, and we believe, the person to be as we shall be if we are faithful to him. He who looks at Mary, sees Jesus.
The desolation reminds us that one day our earthly homes, our bodies will be destroyed. She reminds us that we shall live again, so we can live in hope of that certain resurrection.
Truth is wasted on obtuse linguistic literalists.
Now, had it been made in China (plastic, styrofoam, etc.) it would have landed in some yard a mile away. And the folks there would have declared it an image fallen down from heaven and made a ‘grotto’ for it.
For comparison...How many grave stones in the cemeteries blew over in the storm.
It withstood a flood (stones are used for ballast not buoyancy). It withstood a fire (stones are used to cook on not fuel to a fire). The window screens and singed paper towels (probably ‘Bounty’ since they are tough) should have a shrine since they are the ‘miraculous survivors’ it seems.