Meditating with Mary Pt. 1
By: Lisa D'Souza
“Mary is accepting to walk into a mystery. She does not know what lies ahead on this new path, but she knows who is asking and she trusts in Him. There are many annunciation moments in our life, and sometimes we hesitate to say yes because we cannot foresee the future or control what will happen. In this mystery, ask Mary to give you a deep trust in the one who invites you to follow. Ask her to help you trust that even if the path ahead is full of crosses, God will be walking with you. If you hold his hand in the darkness, He will give you strength, peace, and an intimate joy that nothing can take away.” – Regnum Christi Mini Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries
Saying yes to uncertainty is scary. God stretches our hearts through uncertainty and it is daunting to accept without knowing the full picture. Prayer does wonders in the midst of confusion and questions. In prayer, communicate your needs, dialogue with God and strive to listen more than you speak. Listening is love in action.
God speaks to us through our life events and through people in our lives. What are those events and people meant to teach us? Every event is a brick in our lives – we can either build walls or we can build bridges. Keep listening for patterns, messages and signs that point to our poverty, inadequacies or void. The first step to healing is to listen to God's voice, not the world's noise.
We can respond in two ways: be a duck or a sponge. A sponge absorbs all the water and eventually becomes heavy and leaks while a duck lets the water slide off its back. Mary did not let the gossip and the whispering rob her of her joy. She did not let her neighbours' judgements kill her but she kept her eyes on Jesus. We too are immersed in a storm of personalities, life experiences and needs that are manifested in our own communities. Community polishes and scours our vices into virtue but it can be a gruelling, raw process if we don't know our destination. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. But if you know your destination is holiness, all the suffering and enduring will be worth it.
Food for thought:
When you behold life and beauty, does it speak to you? What goes out of the heart enters another heart. What moves you? What brings passion to your life? What are you naturally good at? How is God using your life to bring restoration to the world? What yes are you withholding or what decision do you need to pray about?
“One of the wonders of God’s plan is that he chooses to associate souls, one to another, so that they help each other on their journey. As cousins, Mary and Elizabeth share a bond of kinship. But they also share a spiritual kinship because of how the Holy Spirit is acting in their lives, fashioning the Messiah and his prophet deep inside their wombs. During those months, Mary and Elizabeth don’t just sit around waiting. They are working, preparing for Elizabeth’s baby, quietly conversing, and praying.” – Regnum Christi Mini Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries
With anticipation, joy and tension also increases. Where there is no love, put love and it will grow. The opposite of love is selfishness. We are responsible for each other so strive to grow in selflessness in your friendships. Mary educated us by example, like Mary, we must prepare our hearts to meet Jesus. With a little help from our friends, foster community, support each other, pray together, and laugh together. Friendship is powerful. It can transform hearts, lighten burdens, bring joy and alleviate sorrow. Aim to know and see another for who they really are - the strength in a chain lies in the weakest link not in the strongest link. Try to see another in their poverty and embrace them as they are. We all long to be seen, to be known and to be loved. A true friend sees another's soul and walks through the darkness with them.
“In our lives too, God gives us spiritual friendships and soul-mates who help us grow closer to him. Sometimes he links our lives together for a larger purpose that will reveal itself with time. In this mystery, ask Mary to help you and your spiritual friends listen carefully for God’s voice in your lives, so that you can walk with him and with each other.” – Regnum Christi Mini Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries
God dwells where He is welcomed – we are all beggars for love and fostering virtuous Christ-centred friendship keeps us close to Him. Before you were seeking, Jesus was seeking you.
You may be seeking love, success, security but before you had the desire for any that, Jesus was pursuing you from the beginning. Jesus seeks our hearts through friendships and if you struggle with having sincere friendships, pray for good, holy friendships. Allow time to solve your past hurts and wait for true, good, beautiful relationships.
Let us pray:
I thank you God for knowing me better than I know myself. Help me to be a virtuous friend and to foster holy, life-giving friendships. May I be like Mary who sought the good of others and was selfless in her love. May I strive to be a vessel of comfort, joy and peace to all that I meet. Amen.