This is why it seems so hard to reflect that vision of patience when black-hearted "artists" practice character assassination on the Blessed Virgin Mary to strip her of every virtue: her patience, her obedience, her courageous love and her prayerful faith in God. On Nov. 13, Simon and Schuster launched a vicious little 96-page novella titled "The Testament of Mary."
The author, an Irish ex-Catholic named Colm Toibin, presents us instead with a Bible-burning "reimagination" of an alienated Mary who fled the scene of her son's death in fear for her own life. Two decades after the Resurrection -- or was there one? -- this anti-Mary is filled with bitterness and rage. She describes herself as "unhinged" and bubbling with contempt for her son's demented followers, to the extreme that she threatens the Gospel writers with a knife. She lives as a bandit, stealing to survive.
Her son's followers must be stopped from making Jesus a god, "or else everything that happened will become a sweet story that will grow poisonous as bright berries that hang low on trees." Toibin describes the scene of the crucifixion in mercenary terms: "It was like a marketplace, but more intense somehow, the act that was about to take place was going to make a profit for both seller and buyer."
Christ's disciples are "fools, twitchers, malcontents, stammerers," while her son's preaching sounded to her "false, and his tone all stilted, and I could not bear to hear him, it was like something grinding and it set my teeth on edge."
There is no God in her father or her son. She proclaims of the death of Jesus only: "when you say that he redeemed the world, I will say that it was not worth it. It was not worth it."
Toibin's last book of literary criticism was titled "New Ways to Kill Your Mother." In this book, he murders the mother of God.
In a positive critique in The New York Times, reviewer Mary Gordon explained "The making of the Gospels is portrayed not as an act of sacred remembrance but as an invasion and a theft. The Evangelists -- which are they? Luke, perhaps, or John? -- are portrayed as menacing intruders, with the lurking shadowy presence of Stalin's secret police."