Editor’s Note: Today, we begin a new series by Julie Paavola, author of the wonderful book The Mother’s Calling: Love in the Heart of the World. Did you know the Church invites us to celebrate a feast of Mary every month of the year? This new series of articles by Julie Paavola offers a reflection for mothers on each Marian Feast of the year. This month of October the feast is Mary, Queen of the Rosary. LMH
Mary is the most celebrated person in the Church. For the most part, Mary lived a hidden and humble life. Her acceptance of God’s will, however, opened the way for God’s Son to enter this world as one of us. When she collaborated with God’s work of salvation, Mary became the new Mother of all the Living. The early Church Fathers called her the New Eve.
Mary teaches each of us to open the way for Jesus by our own fidelity to God’s will. We do this by figuring out our own unique gift and calling, by accepting our life as it is and then asking, “Lord, what more would you have me do?” Like Mary, we ask our question not out of fear. Rather it comes from a desire to please God, to know and love the God who has loved us first. Our Lady of the Rosary shows us the key to this simple, humble dedication. She shows us how to meditate on the stuff of daily life as we pray in the presence of the Lord. For, in the Rosary, Mary meditates on her Child and we join her.
Here is a simple exercise for any mother or parent:
- Set aside a period of 10 minutes; light a candle and listen to your breathing; let go of your worries and bring to mind one of the mysteries of the rosary. As an example, let’s take the Annunciation.
- Pray with Mary, remembering with her the day Gabriel told her of God’s plan that she have a child, Jesus, meaning “The Lord Saves.” Meditate on the name of Jesus and its meaning.
- Think of your first pregnancy (or your wife’s if you are a father). Think of the way you felt about the gift of becoming a mother/parent for the first time. Give thanks for this vocation; remember the early days in the life of your first child and your transition into becoming a parent (birth, coming home from the hospital, first bath, first outing, first step, first word)
- Call to mind your child today as he/she is today; call to mind your other children, if you have them. Each of them is called to be a sister or brother of Jesus, saved through the Son of Mary. As you meditate the Incarnation (Jesus becoming flesh in the womb of Mary), invite your child(ren) into the circle of light that is the Grace of Salvation. See yourself in the mystery of the Annunciation, blessed and saved by Mary’s generous yes to God.
- Finish your prayer by placing your child(ren) and their future in God’s hands; pray with Mary as she says to God in the Annunciation: “Let it be done to me according to your word.”
In the Rosary we ponder the life of Jesus with Mary. We also ponder our own lives before God, asking God to make us holy by the life of Jesus. We can include everything in this prayer: our children, our spouse, our friends and relatives, along with all the needs of daily life. What a consolation, that our own lives are part of the mystery we contemplate!
Copyright 2011 Julie Paavola