My husband and I recently began saying the Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows. It began on The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Sept. 8th) and culminates today, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. In typical “us” fashion, we started the Novena a day late. Anyway, we figured since there is no time with God, our eventual prayers count for something regardless of when we started.
Lately, I’ve been reminded to ask Our Blessed Mother to take a larger place in my daily life (that’s a whole ‘nother story). Through this Novena, in prayerfully pondering the seven sorrows throughout Mary’s life as Theotokos, I have found a certain deeper kinship with she whom I had often thought almost too perfect to approach. I mean, she was born without sin, after all! We’re not exactly in the same social circles! Or are we?
The title for this post comes from the Gospel reading for the Feast of Mary’s Nativity. Joseph found out that his dear, sweet Mary was expecting a baby, and he knew it wasn’t his. As a good Jewish man, he couldn’t be mixed up in that mess, but Joseph probably still loved her and didn’t want her to be stoned for her sin, so decided to divorce her quietly. Joseph then dreamt that the Angel of the Lord told him all about the truths behind Mary’s predicament, that she was carrying the Son of God. Further, the angel said, “Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid to invite your wife Mary into your home.”
I have read or heard this passage several times, yet this time I heard something else, something personal – something interesting. I heard the Angel speaking directly to me, reminding me that I shouldn’t be afraid to invite Mary into my prayer life, my home, my journey to Christ. It was, to me, a most beautiful epiphany. I felt compelled to be more intentional in my prayer life, specifically inviting Mary to watch over me as a Mother and Wife, and to cover me and my family in her loving mantle of grace and peace. Practically speaking, we’ll have to stick pretty close by Mary if we’re expecting her to cover us with her coat!
Seriously, though, I am etermally grateful for Mary’s fiat – her “yes” to God. Just like all of us, she had some profoundly difficult challenges during her life. God never told her it would be easy, but He was with her, as He is with all of us. And, He sent us a Mom – His Mother – because, as every child knows, sometimes you just want your Mommy.
I’m glad to have a loving Mother like Mary to invite into my home, my life, and my heart. Don’t be afraid to invite her into yours.