A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

A Woman of Faith

Posted on: January 3, 2013

As we marked the start of a new year on January 1st, Catholics observed the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

In the Anglican and United churches I attended over the years, we talked about the fact that Mary said yes when the angel Gabriel told her she would be the mother of Jesus. We spoke about how she gave birth to Jesus, raised him, and stood by him as he died on the cross. Beyond that, no one said much about Mary.

Since I began attending a Catholic church, I’ve discovered more about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In praying the rosary and saying the Hail Mary at Mass, I’ve learned that Mary leads us to Jesus, prays for us, and carries our prayers to God. But I’ve also come to see Mary as a model of faith:

Mary gives us an example to follow. She is the woman of faith who said “Yes” to God, and she is the faithful woman, faithful to the ultimate consequences.

This short and clear explanation was given in “Mary—A Woman for All Times and Seasons” (The Canadian League, Volume 88, No. 3, Fall 2012, pp. 2-3), the text of a homily by the Most Reverend Martin W. Currie, Archbishop of St. John’s and National Spiritual Advisor to the Catholic Women’s League.

I hadn’t thought about the ways, as explained in this homily, that people could identify with Mary. Today so many people fear for their children’s safety, live as refugees, suffer the loss of a spouse or a child—and though these were all realities of Mary’s life, she continued to trust in God.

I think about how quick I am to feel defeated when life throws me a curveball. How my first response is to develop my own plan of action before praying for strength and guidance. How, when I do pray, I want to hear “Yes,” and not “Wait,” or “I have something better planned.” I could look a long way and not find a better example of faith in the face of adversity than Mary.

Now when I pray the Hail Mary, I recognize it as much more than a simple prayer.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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