Called to Be Like Mary, Mother and Bride Through the seasons of my life as…
“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.”
As a familiar Christmas carol says, “It’s that time of year when the world falls in love….”. I have found myself singing and humming that song for weeks as I have busily been preparing for the arrival of our daughters who are coming home to Ohio to join the rest of the family for an early Christmas celebration. This of course means that I have to be “on my game” and to have all preparations done by December 14, so I have been running at full speed for weeks.
Then Advent officially arrived and I realized I needed to stop “doing” so much and start “contemplating” more. I started to take a “pregnant pause” as it were, much like the Blessed Mother did for those nine months when she carried our Savior in her Immaculate womb. I started reading The Mystical City of God by Venerable Mary of Agreda, a 17th century Spanish nun, which is a history of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary as revealed by Our Lady to her. I am specifically reflecting on the chapters which describe the timeline from the Annunciation to the flight to Egypt after the birth of Christ. The chapters go into great detail showing how Mary was in a constant state of quiet, contemplation, and union with God before and during her pregnancy, but she also served when circumstances required her to do so. A quote from the book follows:
“Hence from her first instant in the womb of her mother, she was wiser, more prudent, more enlightened, and more capable of comprehending God and all His works, than all the creatures have been or ever will be in eternity, excepting of course her most holy Son.”
Mary’s example showed me that I needed to make even more changes. While I am still doing my preparations as a form of serving my family, I am setting aside more time for prayer and contemplation by increasing my holy hours during the week. This is where I find peace. This is where I can shut off the constant streaming of thoughts about what needs to be done at home. This is where I can prepare my heart for the coming of the Bridegroom in just a few short weeks. This is where I can find myself falling deeper in love with God. As St. Augustine points out, when we seek Him, we find Him and we fall in love with Him. But first we must seek.
This week our church celebrates not only the Feast of the Immaculate Conception but also the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe, and we at Hope’s Garden are preparing our hearts for our second annual Consecration to the Bridegroom Ceremony where many will say “I do” to Jesus for the first time, and others of us will renew our vows to Him, our Eternal Spouse. What a blessing for all of us. Take time to seek Him. Take time to “Prepare the way of the Lord” as St. John the Baptist tells us, by taking a “pregnant pause” to prepare your heart.
Karen S. Baglieri
Member of the Sisterhood of Mary, The Mystical Rose of God