mary-elizabeth2At the beginning of this month dedicated to the Blessed Mother, we offer these reflections on Mary and on her role in our lives. They are taken from the words of Pope Francis and from the book Mary for Today by Sr. Patricia Noone, SC (Thomas More Press, 1977).

Mary, Mother of Mercy

In his official proclamation of the 2015-2016 Year of Mercy, Pope Francis wrote, “Mary attests that the mercy of the son of God knows no bounds and extends to everyone, without exception. Let us address her in the words of the ‘Salve Regina,’ (‘Hail Holy Queen’) a prayer ever ancient and new, so that she may never tire of turning her merciful eyes toward us, and make us worthy to contemplate the face of mercy, her son Jesus.”

Mary, Companion on the Journey

And when disunity makes us pessimistic, distrusting, fearful, let us all commend ourselves to the protection of the Holy Mother of God. When there is spiritual turmoil in the Christian soul, it is only by seeking refuge under her mantle that we can find peace. May the Holy Mother of God help us on this journey. (Pope Francis)

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Imagining Mary’s daily life

 A woman’s life in any underdeveloped country leaves little time for leisure, little energy for introspection. She performed the timeless, universal tasks by which women kept civilization going for centuries: spinning, weaving, washing, mending, building fires and baking bread….We can close our eyes and see the Jewish women of her time, dark-haired and dark-eyed, bearing water pitchers to and from the well, one eye peering out from their required head covering, their thoughts unknown, because unrecorded.

Mary, the Holy Spirit and the early disciples

The more that Christ’s divinity became real to the disciples, the more marvelous must have seemed to them the great mystery of the Incarnation – and the more strength and joy must they have found in her [Mary] who stood among them as the living link of God and [humankind]….

Who is to say it was not her eyes that challenged them, her smile that encouraged them, or her words which impelled them to pull back the latch and move out into the sunshine of the Pentecost morning?

Or was it simply her presence which told them they could not stay cooped up in that room hoarding the knowledge of his immense and passionate love of the human race, not letting it break through them, not really believing how much their lives had been penetrated by his, not, after all, knowing that they had been loved.

Without breaking the sense of simple equality and unity in their experience of prayer together, surely in some way she communicated how much the Spirit was to be trusted.

Patricia Noone, SC, Mary for Today, Thomas More Press, 1977