Mary, a model of holiness

| Kate Soucheray | May 4, 2018 | 0 Comments


May is the month of Mary, a woman revered and respected by Catholics and Christians around the world for her sacredness and leadership. Throughout the year, but especially during this month, we are reminded of Mary’s strength of character, her devotion to family, her unshakable faith in God’s promises and her simple, humble holiness.

All people are called to learn from Mary, and especially those in our culture, which often does not encourage living a life of chastity, humility and an understanding of right relationships. Rather, our culture often urges us to “do whatever feels good” and to be influenced and manipulated by whatever is popular or trendy. One thing we can know for certain, this was not Mary’s response to the situation in which she found herself.

Mary was a teenage girl living in Nazareth during the reign of King Herod the Great, under the control of the Roman Empire. She was a modest, faithful young woman who understood and followed the precepts of her Jewish faith. When she was betrothed to Joseph, the angel Gabriel was sent to tell her she had found favor with God and that she would conceive and bear a son. When Mary replied to the angel she did not know how this could be, as she had not had relations with a man, she was told the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her. The angel also explained to Mary that her relative, Elizabeth, was expecting a baby, as, he said, “Nothing will be impossible for God.”

Even with this surprising news, Mary continued to trust God and his faithfulness to her. As a wife and mother, Mary honored her commitment to her husband, Joseph, and her son, Jesus.

With the difficulties facing many families today, the ability to remain committed is often challenging. For Christians living in the shadow of the cross, we know we will receive both comfort and challenge in living out the Gospel, or the good news, of Christ resurrected. There will be times we will face situations that we fear will defy our ability to handle them. When that happens, we can think of Mary and remember how she managed the news delivered by the angel, even though she was unsure how it would all unfold.

As we work to become the presence of the risen Christ to our loved ones, our work associates and others in our lives, we have the opportunity to turn to Mary as an example of faithfulness and strength. If we can do this, we will have the opportunity to listen to our deeper wisdom, which is always available to inspire and motivate us. In doing so, we have the opportunity to inspire and motivate our families, friends and work associates to listen and respond to the deeper wisdom within themselves.

This will be a quiet process, in which we have turned in prayer and solitude to the Holy Spirit, asking that our hearts and minds be filled with clarity and purpose, truth and authenticity.

Mary is the model of holiness, as she has been called forth to encourage and guide our hurting world, which she has done all throughout her earthly and heavenly life. In order to learn from and emulate her example, we must embrace a similar kind of holiness, simplicity and humility by committing ourselves to the betterment of the lives of others through responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds.

Take time this month to say the rosary and ask Mary to help open your heart and mind to the Holy Spirit, encouraging you to become an example of holiness in whatever life situation you find yourself.

Soucheray is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a member of Guardian Angels in Oakdale. She holds a master’s degree in theology from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul.

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Category: Featured, Simple Holiness