In terms of human greatness, no one can come close to Mary. Am I right??
And what better time to honor Mama Mary than during Advent!!
This past week the church has honored Mary with two very special feasts. The first, celebrated last Friday, was the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Our parish church is named after the Immaculate Conception, so this Marian devotion has always had a special place in my heart. Earlier this week, we also celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady of Guadalupe is definitely my favorite Marian apparition, for so many reasons!!
Isn’t Mary just beautiful, guys? And aren’t we so lucky that we got to celebrate her in two major ways this week?
And… Spoiler Alert… There’s another amazing Marian feast coming up soon:) Sooo Happy!!
Honestly, though, Mary has such a special place in the meaning of Advent. Christmas wouldn’t have happened without her after all. The church knew what it was thinking when it placed so many of her feasts during this season.
But why is Mary so important to us as women? Why is the Catholic Church special in the way that it honors her? Why should she be our greatest role model in life?
I have asked these questions on numerous occasions. The truth, however, is that Mary has shown us, through her less than glamorous life, how to be holy and pleasing in the eyes of God. Yes, her life was hard, and she had to deal with stresses that none of us will ever have to deal with. But she placed everything in the hands of God and never gave up. She persevered in virtue and holiness, right along side her Son.
And that is why the church has placed her in such an influential place.
Mary is just like every single one of us. She was just a normal girl, given a gift from God, and asked to do big things for Him. And while her big things may seem way bigger than our big things, we have to figure our way through life just like she did.
And luckily, we, as Christians, have all the tools we need. Christ’s grace and mercy are practically ready to jump into our hearts every moment. But it takes our being aware and open to receive those gifts that Mary so beautifully accepted.
This Advent season, I want to challenge you to look to Mary as your role model in a new way. Imagine how she might react in any given situation. Picture how amazing her relationship with the Son of God must have been. Imagine the joy that must have filled her during her pregnancy. These types of prayer-provoking thoughts are sure to help you grow deeper in your faith this Christmas.
Now, let’s just think about a few of those role model qualities that Mary has. Enjoy!!
+ She always said Yes to the will of God
Mary’s love of God was so strong that she made it her vocation to continually say yes. By agreeing to be the mother of her Savior, she resigned herself completely to the Father’s will. She was no longer living for herself, but for God and the Kingdom. And without her great yes of obedience, we wouldn’t have a Savior.
While we will never be asked to be the mother of God, we all have things that we are being called to say yes to. Whether it be a relationship, an opportunity, or whatever, Christ is calling us to our something and calling every day. Pray for Mary’s help during these years of listening, that you may hear the Lord’s call and listen intently.
+ She became a master of resigning her worries to God
Just imagine for a moment becoming the mother of God. Imagine carrying such precious a Child within you for nine months, how carefully one would take on even the simplest of tasks. And imagine watching Him grow up and get hurt and get lost and fall sick. Imagine Him going out into the world to preach, be ridiculed, judged, and condemned. And imagine Him being falsely accused, tortured and eventually killed.
Mary’s motherly instincts were surely raving with sadness, but, amidst all these situations, she never stopped trusting God and His plan. She knew that her Son had a job to do and she wasn’t going to get in the way.
Life is filled with anxieties and worries, big and small, but God is bigger than every one of them. He is asking, begging, us to lay down our burdens. To take up His yoke and allow Him to help us carry the load. Just like Mary.
+ Even when given much, she was always humble
At one of the most glorified times of her life, the Visitation, Mary uttered none other than a humble prayer of praise to the Father. She did not boast in her holiness or worthiness, but simply thanked God for his many gifts and graces. Talk about humility!
We can all learn from Mary’s humility as women. Yes, she was extremely humble, but she was never timid. She stuck up for what she believed in with a humble countenance and strong determination. Finding the balance between these seemingly contradictory things may seem hard to do, but Mary shows us in such a beautiful way.
+ She was filled with grace, beauty, and femininity
Lastly, Mary lacked nothing in the areas of grace and feminine beauty. One thing that always amazes me about her apparitions is the way that she chooses to present herself in every different country. When she appeared in Guadalupe, she was dressed as a Mexican princess. In Asia, Our Lady of Akita was dressed in traditional Asian garb. And in every apparition, she is universally recognized as beautiful. What a wonderful thing.
Mary has a beautiful way to embrace her femininity. She continually plays the role of the servant, but does so with great dignity and honor. As we strive to embrace our femininity in a similar way, we can all look to Mary for help accomplishing this goal.
Have a blessed Saturday!!