Friday, January 1, 2010

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1)

Today is the Holy Day of Obligation of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. One of my favorite statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary is in St. Anne's Shrine in Fall River, Mass. When I need to find answers I kneel in front of it and pray. I watch Mary's eyes and I can see what the result of my question will be. Sometimes see looks elated and other times sad. And, that is it. I cannot change what happens.
It doesn't matter if I've knelt before her at 2 a.m. on a weeknight or just after breakfast on a Saturday morning.
One time, I drove an hour to see her and when I went inside the statue was gone. I was frantic until I found the man who sets up the candles and collects the money.
The only conversation I had with him previously was when he warned me to put my candle money in the collection bin at the front of the church because people were stealing from the smaller boxes in the front of the individual statues.
"Where is Mary?" I asked.
He answered in French that she was taken away to be painted and hopefully would be back in a few weeks.
"Oh my God, what will I do?" I wondered aloud.
The man told me that I didn't need a statue of Mary in order to communicate with her.
"She is everywhere you go," he said. "When you sit under a tree, when you go to bed at night, when you lend a helping hand to someone in need."
How stupid of me not to realize this. When the statue of Mary returned to St. Anne's Shrine she was as beautiful as ever with her crystal clear eyes and flowing robe. I don't see her all that much anymore but she's with me all the same.

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