Starting the New Year Like Mary, the Holy Mother of God
“As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:4
It’s surprising to find myself struggling to find the right words when it comes to writing about Mary. Not because I have no words, but because I have too many. She’s kind of my homegirl. Mary and me? We go way back.
My mother introduced me to our Blessed Mother when I was young. Medals and statues were given as gifts, Hail Marys recited at the kitchen table (cue: teen rolling her eyes) prayer cards with her image slipped into book pages and left on countertops. My mom is the best spiritual gardener I know; planting seeds tirelessly, she must have understood how much I would need my heavenly mother as the years unraveled. How one day, this Holy Mother of God, who I had shamefully reduced to a plastic statue hidden on a shelf, was going to get me through some of the darkest days of my life.
Sitting sorrowfully at my dining room table, a friend rushed over to my side, gifting me with a favorite portrait of Mary. She sits on her bed in deep contemplation, a bright light shines upon her; she is so young, so beautiful, and truthfully, she looks a little bit unsure. Amazing how everything you need to know and love about Mary, the artist managed to capture with a stroke of a brush. Gentleness, humility, trust, but most of all, her “yes,” despite not having all of the details.
The world celebrates New Year’s Day today, and in following secular tradition, we will make a resolution—give up gluten, get organized, work-out– and we will choose our “word of the year” — joy, hope, brave. But the Catholic Church, rich in tradition, has so much more to celebrate. Today is the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. We acknowledge her unique role in God’s plan for salvation; her unique role in our own lives, as our Mother. And so I am thinking that while giving up gluten or working out more is good for us, maybe we can do better. What if this New Year’s Day we resolved to respond as Mary responds, to contemplate as Mary contemplates, to give God our “yes,” even when we are a little bit unsure?
My word of the year? Mary. My resolution? Contemplation. My bread of choice? Full of gluten. And I have no plans to work out either.
I am praying for all of us, through the intercession of our Holy Mother of God, on this Solemnity of Mary. And for a most blessed New Year that is filled with peace, pondering and gluten.
Regional Area Coordinator
Walking with Purpose
Read Laura’s blog here: http://www.lauramaryphelps.com/