Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mary, our Model

Happy Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception!

I have been reflecting a lot today on Our Lady's virtues and how she can shed some light on my current challenges and struggles, especially with moving and transitioning.

I had a rough morning today. I was homesick, discouraged, and grumpy. There are so many things one must do amidst a move to a new state...address changing, opening new bank accounts, figuring out the best way to move my furniture, figuring out how I am going to afford the new things I need to furnish a house, etc., etc.,

I really got caught up in this frustration today, thinking to myself "Gee...maybe I shouldn't have even moved. It's just too much trouble!"

Suddenly, the phrase popped into my head: "Give without counting the cost."

Albrecht Durer (1471-1528)

I realized that I have given to God my future and my comfort zone in taking this leap of faith and moving to Tennessee. But, I have gotten very caught up in counting the cost. Sometimes, I am just going through the normal emotions that anyone would feel, missing old friends and family, giving up the old and embracing the new. But I have also been counting the cost begrudgingly at times too.

It dawned on me that Our Lady not only surrendered her will to God's will in perfect faith. But she truly gave without counting the cost.

Although Our Lady probably did wonder when the angel appeared to her at the Annunciation what sacrifices God's plan would require, she surrendered her will completely to the Lord. I don't think that during her pregnancy, or the 33 years of Christ's life that she was resentful of what God was asking her to give. Instead, she gave freely, and to the utmost when she was asked to stand and watch her only Son suffer and die on the cross.

At Mass today, the priest in his homily talked about how theologians have said that the Blessed Mother had to have been without sin, because there was no room for sin in her. She was so filled with God's grace that there was no space for sin. I thought that was a really neat way to understand the Immaculate Conception.

With each letting go, each giving, may more of God's grace fill us, so that soon there is only space enough for grace; so that there is no room for selfishness or fear.

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