Realizing that it is again time to make long-standing promises to myself come true in the New Year 2011, I was inspired by the sermon given on January 1, 2011 at www.usccb.org by Bishop Michael Burbidge. January 1st is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God in the Catholic Church.
I must admit that while my heart admires Mary and requests her assistance, I have not been a big rosary person. The best story of Mary I have ever read is the book Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holms. A friend gave it to me in 8th grade (let’s just say that was sometime in the 70’s) and I still have the yellowed, love-worn paperback and read it almost every year during Advent. It was my wake up call to the fact that the Bible was about real people…people who had fears and hopes and problems and joys just like today.
Somewhere along the path of my life, I needed something to hold onto and because I lost my mother at a young age , Mary stood out as the perfect example. I also had 4 children of my own and needed some good advice! And while Gabriel did not appear to me, I felt the desire to be able to say “yes” to whatever came my way. To have the serentity, courage, and wisdom that allowed her to give birth to and raise a child that she knew would suffer, but would save the world.
So instead of making promises to myself that I will probably break (and that probably don’t mean much in the eternal picture) I will remind myself daily that saying “yes” will lead me to all I need and to everything that will make me joyful.
The Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner, African-American Artist, 1898, Philadelphia Museum of Art
I love the way the artist portrays the divine messenger as a brilliant column of light at the left .