One of the things I've been musing about a lot recently is the incarnation: God coming to us through pain, darkness, and suffering of a woman. Without Mary, would there have been an Incarnation?
This question keeps coming up for me when my daughter and I pray the Ave together at the end of our prayers, particularly as she asks me all kinds of quite deep theological questions - at aged 3! We had a long talk about prayer, loving God, sin (what it is, what it isn't, and the gift that Jesus is to us), and a lot of other stuff, tonight after we prayed. It's quite scary, actually: my little daughter asks deeper and more amazing theological questions than most adults I know. It's a challenge answering her honestly but putting it in terms a child can understand. But I can tell from the questions she asks that she does understand, and most of the questions come out of the prayers we pray together and the liturgy at church. We have a discussion about the eucharist during the liturgy very quietly nearly every week, and it's amazing.
I keep thinking about how much Mary must have influenced her child Jesus through her prayers, her love. Out of the struggle came light; out of her pain, joy.