The Mother of God

This past Advent, I had a revelation. I realized that I didn't know the Mother of God (or God the Father, but that's a different post). You would not have known it, because right up on the wall of my office is this:
Oh, yeah, and that's a statue of Mary.

If you go into my living room, you will find this very large statue of Mary, which was a very sweet gift from my former boss:

Probably got some weird looks while I was driving

And on my dresser in my bedroom, you will find a very beautiful, smaller statue of Our Lady of Grace, and on my wall, this picture of JPII and Mary:

I wear a scapular, have done a Marian consecration, and pray a rosary pretty regularly on my way to or from work. 

I am not trying to be like "Hey, look at me! I am so holy and love Mary so much!" The whole point of this post is to say that, while I subscribed to this popular facet of Catholicism, of loving Mary, I do not live it out to any degree. Do I have an actual relationship with the woman who bore Christ? No.

For the past 4ish or so years that I have really been living out my faith, I have loved Catholicism. I love being Catholic, so so much. I love the tradition. And for me, Mary was a part of that tradition, an accessory to my relationship with Jesus that I acknowledged for the sake of the Church. The Church loves Mary, sure, I'll love Mary. Jesus loves Mary, so, sure I'll act like I love Mary. The Saints loved Mary, so sure, I'll love Mary. I never actually took the time to get to know WHY the Saints loved Mary, why the Church has such a strong stance on her.

Not that I've never seen Mary's intercession in my life do great things, I have. But with the exception of the acknowledgement that she helped me out, and the occasional prayer, Mary was just a part of Catholicism that I took and didn't really think about. 

I brought up my lack of an actual relationship with Mary to my spiritual director. I told him I thought Mary was trying to do something in my life. 

"Do you want her to do something?" He asked me.

I shrugged. "Sure. I mean, I don't really mind either way." I said, without commitment, conviction, or passion.

He chuckled at me and said "What if you asked one of your friends to hang out and they said 'Sure. I mean, you can come over if you want but it doesn't matter to me either way'?"

I was kind of speechless, because when you put it that way. My spiritual director does a good job of taking what I've said and making me face the reality of what I've really said, which is a hard thing to hear some times.

So, Mary. She's a person, not an accessory. Not just any person. The MOTHER OF GOD. And I have pretty much been like "Yeah, whatever" to her for a while. I wonder how Jesus feels about the way I've been treating His mom.

So, I've been spending some more time with Mary recently. Walking with her to the Cross. And she's been very frank with me, which is good, because I need more people in my life to tell it to me straight.

Mary, the Mother of God, pray for me.

a priest I know introduced me to this reading from St. Bernard of Clairvaux and it's stuck with me.


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