On January 1st, the feast of Mary, the Mother of God, I found myself thinking about Mother Mary and my relationship with her. Growing up, my family annually attended an event for the Coronation of Mary. On those hot August days, we would drive quite a distance, until we hit gravel roads and found the farm that had a grotto to Our Lady in it. Many people attended from all around. Gathering in a field, we would each take our place along a bead of a large rosary. We would each say a Hail Mary as each person’s candle was lit. Each person was a bead of the living Rosary. After the Rosary, we would sing a hymn to Our Lady and set a crown on her statue.  This experience was a tangible example of our faith.

As a child, this was an almost ‘magical’ event. I was in awe of Our Lady’s beauty and I caught the devotion of all those around me. Our Lady’s grotto had a running stream underneath her, with an ocean of peace emanating from it. We children would then dance, play, and perhaps even catch some kittens on the farm. This experience was fundamental for me in how I relate to Our Lady; since my childhood, I have known how close she is to us.

Another moment for me with Our Lady was when I was at St. Therese School of Faith and Mission in Saskatchewan. We had the opportunity to take a week and write (paint) an icon of Our Lady of Tenderness. At this time, I was learning to be gentle with myself (and still am), and I ended up engraving too deeply into the material. And yet, she was still beautiful. She is a testimony for me today that she is Our Lady of Tenderness, even if I am not.

Mother Mary became my Mother more truly when I was homesick at university. Those young adults might not tell you, but they get homesick too. I needed the love of a Mother who could comfort and hold me. I felt Mary draw very close at this time, giving me the strength that I needed to continue on my journey. This year has also been graced as I grow with Mary. As Servants of the Cross, we prepare for our First Promises by reading Total Consecration by St. Louis de Montfort. I noticed that this book had a gentle effect on me. Slowly, over the 33 days, my devotion to Mary grew. I was thinking of her more often and relying on her help. On the day of my First Promises, I knelt before her statue and gave myself to her so that she could help me give myself more completely to Jesus.

Just like our faith journey with the Lord, our journey of getting to know Mary will have its ups and downs. If we are open, she may pursue us through a particular title that she has. As with the Lord, she is always seeking us out.

What is your relationship with Mother Mary like? What particular memories or experiences have influenced your devotion to her? Most especially, what title of Mary do you turn to when you need a Mother most?

One Comment

  1. Sarah-Jane Bend January 4, 2022 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Our Lady of Sorrows, Queen of Peace or Star of the sea

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