Growing with Mary

One of the most beautiful aspects of my Catholic faith has been devotion to Mary, the Blessed Mother. I was thinking about this post today before mass as I was waiting for PSR to get out so that I could go to church with my family, chasing my toddler down to brush her hair, and struggling with a pecular stinging sensation in my lower back, and asking Mary to pray for me! And then it occurred to me that my understanding and devotion to Mary has grown and changed as I have grown and changed. I didn't need a degree in Marionology to understand a relationship with Jesus's mother. She has always met me where I am.

When I was little Mary seemed like the elegant lady, the untouchable, unreachable, princess-like figure of the beautiful pictures and statues we had of her. And although I felt so small compared to Mary, her presence as Queen filled me with awe and respect.

As a teenager I wondered how Mary, a shy and quiet teen herself, managed to deal with the momentous task that had been given to her, that of being the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, protecting Him, loving Him, and mothering her Savior. It seemed like such an overwhelming thing, perhaps much more so than the things I was encountering at that time of my life.

As a young woman, away from the church for some years, it was the image of Mary, the matriarch amongst the apostles that seemed to open her cloak and invite me back inside.

And as I raised my young children and tried to rediscover and live my faith it was Mary's image that I kept before me as teacher and humble housewife.

But perhaps my greatest appreciation for Mary came after my stillbirth when I discovered Mary the Sorrowful Mother in a new light. Mary who was no stranger to sadness and death.

Mary who knew the promises of Christ personally, and yet was still subject to the very womanly experience of losing a child, a husband, parents and friends. That made Mary more of a real woman to me and a special comfort.

As I watched Rosie eating her hashbrown this morning, I thought about how Mary in her heavenly body with her son, truly has attained the wisdom of her 2000 years. A finer example of a titus 2 woman I will never find. And in her simple elegance she tells me all that I need to know, "Do whatever He tells you."


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