Our parish women’s group offered a “Morning with Mary” last weekend. A May crowning Mass, followed by brunch, a speaker, faith sharing and a living rosary. I have been wanting to get to know more women from my parish and as you know, Mary is near and dear to my heart! So, off I went to spend some time in prayer and fellowship.
It was a blessed morning, and a lovely lady invited me to join her table (a big deal for someone shy like me). The speaker did a wonderful job in sharing a more “real” and human Mary, a mother available to us all, rather than a distant and lifeless figure. I very much appreciated the speaker’s thoughts, and many women were moved in seeing Her in a different light. But I couldn’t help being so very grateful for being previously introduced to an ever more intimate relationship with our Blessed Mama. "To love Mary means to imitate her and follow her because she is the one who goes before us, the one who is an example of our faith." (Tadeusz Dajczer, The Gift of Faith, 3rd ed. [Ft. Collins, CO: IAMF, 2012], 116).
But – this spirituality of living in communion with Christ through His Blessed Mother takes me even further. She desires that I make room in my heart for only Christ and His will. Because of my little faith, She carries me in Her arms to lead me more quickly to the love of God. I am too weak to even imitate Her, but I ask that She live in me, with me and through me.
The awareness that Mary ‘carries you in her arms’ will enable you to remain in God’s presence with unfaltering faith in His love. This awareness does not suppose necessarily emotional experiences. Perhaps in some stages of your interior life you may not feel anything at all, but, in spite of it, this awareness will constitute an essential element of your interior life. …
However, when, by the will of God, Mary chooses someone as her special instrument, she shows him very clearly how little he is. She shows him that he finds himself exalted only because she ‘carries him in her arms.’ And so, it is a special grace if you discover the maternal role of Mary in your life.
Why do you receive this grace?
This is a mystery of God’s election.
But remember, the grace needs a committed response.
You do not receive a talent in order to bury it in the ground.
You must make use of it – in accordance with the will of God–
for your own sanctification and for the sanctification of others.
Because of this, implore Mary that your whole life
may be permeated by the awareness that you are ‘carried by her in her arms.’
(S.C. Biela, In the Arms of Mary, 2nd ed. rev. [Ft. Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005], 173).
And so, there I was listening in on the large group sharing and I felt like I needed to share what I knew. At least a little glimpse. Being so shy, I had to laugh with God and beg Blessed Mama to help me say something. If I kept this good news to myself, I felt like I would be wounding the very Love that rescued me. She helped me raise my hand and a microphone was handed over. Very simply, She helped me share what a gift it was to know that Mary is more than someone to imitate. She does carry me, Her weak, shy, little one, so that I will know how very much God loves me.
In discovering this unfathomable love
you will want to respond to Him,
and then you can reach full union with Christ.
This is the greatest grace which you can be bestowed with here on earth.
(S.C. Biela, In the Arms of Mary, 2nd ed. rev. [Ft. Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005], 179).