The Special Beauty of Mary

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Purity, chastity and loving trust, created a special beauty in Mary that attracted God’s attention and he showed his great love for the world by giving Jesus to her.

How can we ever imagine what Mary’s responsibility must have involved? What it must have meant to her to bear God’s Son and to give birth to him – especially in such difficult circumstances. Consider that Mary was a very young woman at this point, a woman of her time and her people. Her words in response to the messenger Gabriel indicate natural intelligence, obedience, and courage. Having lived a life of grace, Mary is more open to understanding God’s plan and to hearing it directly than the rest of us, who labor and hear and see through the veil of our fallen nature. Mary had a special gift, a childlike trust that allowed God to take full possession of her life. The Gospel account of the Annunciation and Visitation illustrates a triple response modeled by our Lady. We see Mary’s trust in accepting the word of the angel. We see her surrender before the unknown future held in God’s plan – “Let it be done to me according to your word.” We see her joyful giving as she went in haste to serve her cousin Elizabeth.

Only that childlike trust steeped in love could allow Mary to act so courageously throughout her whole life, to allow her to be so intimately used for our salvation. Think about knowing what you know now twenty years ago. Would you have had the courage twenty years ago to undergo whatever has passed since, if you knew ahead of time what it would require? God’s plans for us are always bigger than our own for ourselves. Think about being willing then to walk forward on that path. Well, Mary did and she never looked back. Her life is a blue print for how we should all try to live our lives; to be as much as possible in a state of loving trust while carrying out those tasks and jobs our daily life requires; to be open to hearing the whispers and messages of God; to take those whispers into our hearts, and then joyfully, willingly follow God’s plan wherever it leads. For each of us, God’s plan is different, but the end objective is the same, to say yes to Jesus and to go in haste to serve him in the poor, the church, the community, and especially to serve those he has entrusted to our care.

Mary, Mother of Jesus, we come to you with the same attitude of children who come to their mother. We are no longer children, but adults who desire with all our hearts to be God’s children. Our human condition is weak, that is why we come to ask for your motherly aid so we are able to overcome our weakness. Pray for us so that we can, in turn, become people of prayer. We invoke your protection so that we may be freed from all sin. We invoke your love so that it may reign in our hearts and we will be able to be compassionate and forgiving. Beautiful mother, give us your heart, so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, so full of love and humility that we may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life, love him as you loved him and serve him joyfully… Prayer of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Sylvia Bates