As part of this Year of Mercy, today is the Marian Jubilee, a Feast of Mary, Mother of Mercy. We can listen to the Pope’s homilies,.both for last night’s vigil and this morning’s liturgy in St.Peter’s Square.
I know that I’ve been looking at more ways to find and to show mercy and one of those has been to pray to Mary.
Prayer was never something that I was comfortable doing growing up. We were religious in the sense that we followed the traditions abd celebrated the holidays; we observed Passover and Yom Kippur. My parents lit yartzeit candles for their parents, and now I light them for mine.
I didn’t pray as much as talk to G-d when I needed to say somethihng or meditate on something or to ask for help or guidance.
I was really shown how little I actually prayed when I didn’t know how to express myself during a National Day of Prayer after 9/11. I went to a local temple with my four year old, and they didn’t know why I was there, and I didn’t know how to ask for what I needed. I sat with my son, and we muddled through, not knowing what to do or how to say it, but trying to do it anyway.
In starting my journey through the Catholic Church, I still didn’t know what to pray for; or how. There is a moment of silent prayer during the mass – well, several moments – and I never know what I should pray for. It feels weird to pray for people. I don’t know why that is…was.
In those prayers of the faithful I had my faithful trio of prayers, mostly for myself to get through another week, waiting for the anti-depressants to kick in or the talk therapy to take effect.
I found Mary, Untier of Knots, and that really spoke to me. I was excited to find out that this was Pope Francis’ favorite devotional.It made siense in my life too – all these knots of crap happening, and I could slowly, methodically untie them, like Mary does in the painting and on the prayer card.
I began to say the rosary. I found it comforting, and deliberate.
I think I identify with her as a parent, and I try to emulate her unending patience and mercy for those around her, a perfect example depsite what was done to her son. She is full of forgiveness and accepting of G-d’s will.
Find your own prayers that work in your life, both in their substnace and the time to include them in your meditations. I will continue to try and do this in my prayer life.