True confession time. For most of my life I did not pray to Mary. I wasn’t in the habit of saying the Rosary. And I did not have any statues of the Blessed Mother in my home or garden. Mary had always seemed a lofty ideal to me. A heavenly image of perfection that I could not live up to or relate to. I once heard a priest say that our Church hadn’t done Mary any favors by putting her up on a pedestal. The higher she was raised up, the more remote she became.
Years ago, a friend recommended that I read a book called Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes, a dramatic account of Mary’s story—a teenage girl chosen by God to bring Christ into our earthly world. The Mary depicted in this story was one I found infinitely compelling: young, scared, and facing an overwhelming responsibility. Discovering Mary through the prayer of imagination was the moment she became real to me. And now I pray to her all the time.
Who was Mary? What was her life like? What was the historical context in which she lived? Only by learning Mary’s personal story can we find our own story. And the Advent season is where Mary’s story begins. Continue reading