Friday, 26 April 2013

Entrusting my child and family to Mary

I'm an unusual Catholic in that I have had a very wary relationship with Mary.  I believe the Church's teachings about her, they make sense to me. However since coming to faith following a conversion experience on 9th April (Palm Sunday) 2006 I returned to the Church through the arms of Protestant Christians.

Please don't misunderstand me; I have enormous respect for our Protestant brothers and sisters.  However, I listened to their concerns about Mary and the possibility of idolatry of Roman Catholics. As a result it took great soul searching and prayer to arrive at a point that I can believe the Church's teachings.

Nevertheless, like all areas of faith, feelings can at times cloud my judgment.

As a result I have never committed myself to pray the rosary. Having said that, since starting to pray to Jesus for the Holy Spirit to help me understand, the Hail Mary seems to reverberate within me.
I have been looking for a way to pray with my daughter.  She really doesn't speak yet; she only says mama, dada, baa, hiya, hey, gy (that's sky) and bup (starting to say up). So prayer where she is involved seems somewhat redundant.

This is where I think the rosary would be beneficial.  It teaches the main elements of our faith and I am certain she understands far more than she can say.

One of the ways I managed to overcome my fear of praying to Mary was that Mary taught the disciples so much about Jesus, so much of his hidden life.  I am certain that Luke met Mary when he accompanied Paul on his journey in Acts.  It is within his gospel that we see glimpses of the child Jesus.
She obviously spoke to him about her joy of receiving the news of her pregnancy and her belief in what was to come; the Magnificat. She spoke about the visits from the shepherds and their retelling of the angels appearances to them and how she treasured these things and pondered them in her heart ( Luke 2:19) along with the prophecies that a sword would pearce her heart, the moments she found Jesus missing and how he returned to Bethlehem where he was obedient to herself and Joseph. Luke became a believer; was this through the quiet revelation of Jesus through Mary? He made a thorough investigation after all, it says so in the introduction of his Gospel, Mary must have been a compelling witness. What convinces me of this is that so many of these apparently inconsequential stories where included in his writings. They obviously had a profound impact upon him.

In John Paul II apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis he talks about how Mary's rosary helps us to contemplate Jesus as Mary is such an example of just how to do this. Mary, who for nine months carried Him in her womb imagining what He would be like as He kicked and moved. Who saw His face covered in blood as He left her body; defenseless and vulnerable. When I think of JP2's words about her contemplation I think of Mark Lowry's lyrics for "Mary did you know?"; He too knew of Mary's contemplation, revealed by the Holy Spirit as He meditated on the nativity stories. 

In Catholicism there is a saying; through Mary to Jesus. I hope then that Mary reveals Jesus to my child and my husband. He is an atheist\agnostic.  When we were trying for children we conceived just once, but subsequently lost the child we had named Gabriel. This caused me to question my faith.  However oddly, my husband began to believe that Mary held our child.  In fact, shortly after our lost we bought a statue of Madonna and Child as a symbol of this belief. It reminds me of John following Jesus declaration that Mary was now his mother, that he took her into his home from that day onwards. My husband has taken Mary into her home, she cannot help but introduce Jesus there, she is after all His mother.

I am starting to do this when my daughter goes for her lunchtime nap. She doesn't fall asleep straight away, so may the prayers and the Holy SPirit will lull her into a blessed slumber!

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I welcome your posts whether you agree with me or not. Can I ask that people are respectful to each other; no-one has the right not to be offended, but I think that we can talk to each other without swearing or using personal insults.
If you want to use the whole "sky fairy" thing when you're talking to people with faith that too is your perogitive. Just know that for me and many others when you do you've lost the argument.