It's been a strange, long week. Really, it has been. And I'm looking forward to some time to just step apart and breathe a little bit.
As I paused to think before I started writing, I noticed that this Saturday we will celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. And my eyes fell upon the beautiful prayer, the Magnificat. And all of a sudden, I could breathe again. The knot in my stomach dissolved. I found peace for the first time all week in my mother's prayer:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
my spirit rejoices in God my savior
for his has looked with favor upon his lowly servant...
From this day all generations will call me blessed
The Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name...
Why don't I pray this more often?
Why don't I turn to Mary in my distress and confide my worries in her?
Why do I think I have to handle it all on my own?
It was so many years ago now, that I met Mary under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe when I was fortunate to work at that church on 14th st in NYC. It was through the humble faith of those strong immigrant men and women that I came to know Mary as a mother again...Having grown up in a world fighting for equal rights for women, I had neglected what was there all along-the image of Mary as a strong, loving, faith filled woman.
Most days I think I have to handle it all on my own. And that makes me tired and sometimes cranky.
Today, when I remembered Mary, all of a sudden, the burden was lighter. That's kind of amazing to me. So I invite you to do the same. Feeling stressed? Feeling beaten down?
Stop a minute and slowly pray the words of the Magnificat...and feel your heart open again. Just relax and breathe.