Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy Birthday, Blessed Mother!

Today we joyfully celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother! Mary made herself known to me in an extraordinary way when I was just a little girl, and she waited patiently for me, with a mother's love, while I wandered in the darkness for many years. I thank my wonderful parents, and my father especially, for instilling in my heart a deep love for Our Lady.

To honor our Heavenly Mother on her birthday, please leave a comment telling us what she means to you, how she has affected your life and faith journey, or how she has led you to her Divine Son. I can't wait to hear!

"The day of the Nativity of the Mother of God is a day of universal joy, 
because through the Mother of God, the entire human race was renewed, 
and the sorrow of the first mother, Eve, was transformed into joy."

-- Saint John Damascene, Father and Doctor of the Church

Mary, Mother of God, by Tracy L. Christianson

“In trial or difficulty I have recourse to Mother Mary, 
whose glance alone is enough to dissipate every fear.” 

-- Saint Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church


  1. I joined the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary on Easter 2012. (I was, little did I realize, in the process of reverting fully to the Church.) By joining the Confraternity, one promises to recite one full Roasary each week (Luminous Mysteries optional), though this promise is not binding under pain of sin. I thought my joining would keep me honest about praying the Rosary weekly. Within 10 months or so, I had my "A-ha!" moment that brought me back fully into the Church. The thing I reflected on most during that moment was Christ's suffering on the way to the cross (4th Sorrowful Mystery), and how He knew, that in spite of all that he had endured and was going to endure, the world would still end up the miserable mess that is now, my sins being part of that mess.

    1. Ah, yes,a mess perhaps, but a redeemed mess. The fullness of Redemption is present, that is an awesome 'a-ha' moment, yes.

  2. Mary has become more of a Mother to me in these past few years. Sadly, I didn't even know our Blessed Mother as a child and never prayed to her. I don't really have any sort of story that suddenly made me see her as my Mother but I would say it was just a relationship that has grown throughout the years. Now I come to her when I need help with something; I've learned the distinction between her and God--when I want something I go to Mary because I know she will help me with it, when I go to God, I know He may just change it all completely. So for this reason, I go to Mary most often. :-) It doesn't matter though, because no matter what, God's will is always accomplished through Mary anyway!

  3. please leave a comment telling us what she means to you, how she has affected your life and faith journey, or how she has led you to her Divine Son

    Mary means everything. Without her "yes", we may not have had another crack at Redemption. The Eternal Father didn't owe us another shot (let alone a first one).

    She has answered many a powerful prayer in my life, some rather spectacularly. Three I can think of right now, that were literally miraculous. Mary was all over it.

    I never got to know her until several years ago when a Protestant lady questioned my Catholic beliefs. Then, boy, did I get to know Mary. That was a godly push. Thanks, Protestant lady.
    I've been clinging to our Mother and invoking her ever since. What a treasure we have in our Mother. I am humbled when I think of the tight relationship we now share. What an awesomely powerful Lady.

  4. Many Hail Marys said last night in this crazy AZ storms. She brings comfort in fear and light in darkness. Love that today is my oldest child's Baptism Day.

  5. I could write a short book on what Our Lady means to me and how she has been such a wonderful mother to me. I love her fiercely! My relationship with her started with a book I read about Medjugorje in 1992. I had a powerful experience that landed me on my knees telling her I did not know anything about anything and would she please help me? She did and she has ever since. I owe all my love for her Son, all my knowledge of my beloved catholic faith to her taking me by the hand and showing me the way. God is good! AND....He has the BEST MOTHER EVER!

  6. I grew up knowing Mary, but not KNOWING her. My mom along with several aunts and uncles went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje when I was in high school and so I learned a little about her then and I knew the story of St. Bernadette (my confirmation name sake), but it was only on the surface that I knew her. As I grew older and learned more and more about the Catholic faith, naturally I began to understand Mary's importance and how I can call on her to pray for me when I needed her. Several family members are board members of the In the Arms of Mary Foundation and my dad played an active role in editing several books offered through the foundation, so to say the least, I think God was offering me Mary in many instances. I was just too dense to get it! Through infertility and marriage issues (I prayed the Mary Undoer of Knots Rosary for my marriage and on the final day I discovered I was pregnant with our second baby...Mary's pray and God's answer was to give us another baby during which time my husband and I put more an effort towards our marriage because for us raising our children in a broken home is not an option...something God and Mary knew and therefore I think we were given our second baby for that reason...I hope I'm explaining that correctly so you understand...I wasn't praying for a baby but for healing in our marriage and the baby was our answer). I feel like I'm rambling now, but now I try to pray a Rosary daily and invoke her intercession through many different prayers. I am pregnant with our 3rd baby and 2nd daughter. Her name will be Anna Marie...Marie after the Blessed Mother, of course.

  7. Beautiful testimonies and reflections! Thank you!! Someone on my Facebook asked about the beautiful picture of Mary, and another person came in with the link. Here it is if anyone wants to know more:

  8. I got excited when I saw that link Leila, but then realized you are talking about a different site. There is another shop called Portraits of Saints on Etsy that is also very good! Love their stuff!

  9. Oh wow, her stuff is good, Becky! What a gift.

  10. In the Legion of Mary we have a pledge we give to Our Blessed Mother: "I am thine, my Queen, my Mother, and all that I have is thine." That, plus having made a Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary (according to the de Montfort method), means that literally our lives are in her hands.
    What a beautiful place to be!

  11. One thing that just happened regarding Mary: I know I should say the Rosary every day but I don't. We do say our Living Rosary decade every day, which is a great gift, but really I should be adding a full set of mysteries every day. One reason I don't is because it is so hard to concentrate, and by the time I'm done I've restarted several times and still feel as though I've done a terrible job. Well several nights ago I could not sleep at all and decided to try to say the Rosary. I not only got through the whole thing without falling asleep but I was able to be completely focused the whole way through. The next morning I found out that one of my adult children was in a bad situation that night, one that could have turned out much, much worse than it did. He is currently an atheist but I told him that he has the Blessed Mother to thank, because I know that I have never said a Rosary so well in my life, and it could only have been a grace from her when she knew he needed it. In the aftermath, when things looked like they could still get pretty bad, I prayed to Mary, telling her that a child who was consecrated to her was in need of her help, and things turned out better again than they should have. We are still in need of her help (that never ends!) but it is so much better facing these problems knowing that I have such a powerful Mother looking out for us!

  12. Sharon, I totally understand struggling to say the Rosary. I have a terrible time focusing on any prayer, and most especially so Rosary, because of its length. I used to restart the Rosary, too, but found that self-defeating. Now, once I start it, I bear down and finish it, sometimes all four sets of mysteries in one sitting. Indeed, as I mentioned above, my membership in the Confraternity keeps me honest in saying the Rosary weekly as a duty to my fellow Confraternity members.

    Did you know that Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (one of my favorite saints) struggled to say the Rosary as well? We are in good company!

  13. I love the Blessed Mother and the rosary. It is my favorite devotion. When I was single, I prayed many rosaries and numerous 54 day rosary novenas (I am planning to give away a few of these books on my blog soon!) asking Jesus and His Mother to please help me find a good Catholic gentleman who would be a good husband and father. A few years later the man who would be my husband sent me an email on Catholic Match, we wrote a few emails to each other, met at my church and prayed a rosary on St. Joseph's feast day, started seeing each other for several months, got engaged in September, and married on June 16th 2007, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (to thank her for helping me find my husband!). We would have loved to have been able to have children, but it never happened (probably due to the fact I was almost 41 when we got married and shortly afterwards, I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and needed two surgeries. I'm 48 now and the problems have returned. Next week I have an appointment with a doctor and she will probably recommend a hysterectomy. Leila, could you reassure me? Is it okay with the church to get a hysterectomy for medical problems? It has nothing to do with fertility reasons. I am barren as a stone it seems and I've been this way for a long time. Sad, but true.). I would LOVE to adopt, but we don't have much $$$ and we live in a very small apartment. Still despite all these problems, I still pray asking Jesus and the Blessed Mother for a child. Not sure how that is ever going to happen with a barren womb, no $$$, and living in a small space, but I'm going to trust God on this.

    I'd love to make some new friends over on my blog. If you need prayer, I'd be honored to pray for you as well. I really enjoy praying for others especially singles, Mothers, and those with fertility issues. May God Bless you all.

    Maria :)

  14. Maria, I have followed you for years, and I have always been so inspired by your beautiful, trusting faith!! Yes, it is completely moral and licit to have a hysterectomy for medical reasons. My own sister had a hysterectomy to treat her pathologies and it is certainly allowed. Do not worry nor give it another thought! Only if you were taking healthy organs away (or destroying their function) for reasons of preventing conception would there be an issue. We may not destroy healthy organs for contraceptive purposes, but we may certainly treat diseases and disorders and pathologies by removing unhealthy organs, in order to bring healing.

    God bless!


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