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Mary and May the 4th: Preview Everyday Inspired – May 2014 Now!

By on May 1, 2014 in Everyday Inspired, Moms, Movie Musings | 0 comments

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May 1 – May Day

Mary Mother Heart w rosaryMay first in the Catholic tradition honors Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the Celtic tradition, this is the celebration of Belrane, the halfway point between the equinox and the summer solstice. Mary’s witness and the coming of spring remind us that there’s life even in the midst of darkness and loss. It’s easy to lose hope during the dark days of winter, and to wonder what will come of this fallow time. Particularly this year, as the winter was exceptionally brutal for many of us. When spring arrives, it renews our hope.
Mary faced a number of great sorrows and times of confusion. In Luke’s Gospel we read that Mary held all these things in her heart as she watched Jesus grow up and observed the events of his life. There were times when she didn’t understand all that was going on, and times when she felt great pain. As a wise woman of faith, she trusted that the understanding would be revealed at some point.
It’s like the life of spring that’s hidden under the cold winter ground. During winter, we hold the question in our hearts, as Mary did: we hold the pain and confusion in the hopes that one day the answer will be revealed. On this glorious first day of May, let’s celebrate the changing of the seasons, and how spring comes even when we can’t see it. If you’re in a part of the country that’s not experiencing the fullness of spring yet, take heart: It’s on its way. Let’s celebrate the deep knowledge that no matter what is going on in our lives, new life will come of it, and one day we’ll understand.
Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

May 2 – It’s a Mary thing

While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” Luke 11: 27-28

Mary and I have a thing going on. My name, Maria, springs from the date of my birth, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. My middle name “Regina,” sealed the deal. As my spiritual life has grown, I’ve gotten to know Mary more closely and deeply as an intercessor and as a friend. And certainly as a fellow mother.
When I first read this gospel passage, it stung a little bit. When the woman in the crowd said, “Blessed is your mother,” And Jesus said, “No, blessed are those that hear the Word of God and observe it,” I hurt for my friend Mary. But then I realized that Jesus was just doing what she’d taught him to do.
In motherhood we learn, over time, that as we prepare this young life to live in the fullness of whom God created him or her to be, we learn that it really isn’t about us as mothers. It’s about their lives. Oftentimes we project onto our kids what we would have them do, and see the way our kids behave we as a reflection on us: “If I were a better mom, they wouldn’t have pulled that.” Or maybe they don’t go to church and we wonder, “How did I fail?”
As mothers, we did the best we could with the information and resources we had available to us at the time. At some point, we are called to gently and lovingly release these children to God, trusting that they’ll make good choices, and when they don’t, that they’ll find their way back—not necessarily to what we would have them do, but to God’s will for their lives.
Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

May 3 – It’s not about Mary

Jesus’ message was, “No, it’s not about my mom. It’s about all those who hear the Word of God and observe it.” His mother was the first among Christians to do just that. Mary’s whole life pointed the way to God. It wasn’t about Mary; it was about being the instrument of God so that God might be brought more fully into the world. Her perspective is sung in the beautiful Magnificat, prayed when she visited her cousin, Elizabeth. That prayer is a statement of true humility.
We might think of humility as pushing away a compliment, or somehow diminishing ourselves. Someone says, “I love that blouse!” and we reply, “Oh, this old thing; Got it at a resale shop.” We push it aside instead of simply saying, “Thank you.”
photo (17)When Elizabeth hears Mary’s voice, the baby in her womb leaps for joy. Elizabeth throws her arms around Mary and says, “Blessed am I that the mother of our Lord would come visit me.” Mary doesn’t say, “Aw shucks, forget about it.” Mary says, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my savior. He has looked on me in my lowliness, and all ages to come will call me blessed.”
Well, who does this little girl from Nazareth think she is? She proclaims: “All ages to come will call me blessed,” but not in the spirit of: “Am I the bomb, or what?” She says it in praise: “Look what God has done for me!? So of course all ages to come will call me blessed!”
It’s the opposite of a diva. The term “diva” is everywhere these days. The diva performers, when they get on stage, it’s not about their music or the incredible voice they’ve been gifted with. It’s really about how hard they’re working up on the stage to bring it to you. Well, it’s not about how hard the diva is working—it’s about the tremendous talent they have. It’s about them, to the extent that their caring for and developing the talent. But get out of the way. It’s not about you—it’s about what God would do in this moment.
Mary was all over that. Mary was no diva. Mary was about how God was doing great things in her and for her and through her. All praise to God, because God’s the source of it all, and it’s coming through her, and going right back to God. That’s what Mary’s about.
Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

May 4 – Star Wars day

“May the Fourth be with you.” (Get it!?) My daughter is a huge fan (and I have to admit so am I). We watched, again, Revenge of the Sith, which tells the pivotal story of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, a central character in the Star Wars saga.
anakin_skywalker_7Revenge of the Sith is a very sad movie. Handsome, talented Anakin is seduced into a dark and destructive way of life through his own anger and ambition. At one point, my daughter paused the movie and said, “You know, Mom, sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.”
I mused on that thought for the rest of the movie and saw, in the arc of the Star Wars saga, the same struggle in our own lives and in the history of humanity. Sometimes we feel that the darkness is too powerful, and we feel hopeless or wonder how good could possibly come from painful or sad situations. Yet, history shows us that new life can come from apparent death. It’s also the Paschal Mystery of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, mirrored in our own life’s cycle of dying and rising. At any given moment we are somewhere in the process. Our faith assures us that the dark will give way to the light, good can come of evil, and spring will be born from winter’s chill.
Think about where you are in the cycle. In that awareness, remember: this too shall pass. May the force be with you.
Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

May 5 – She taught him well

Mary points us to relationship with God, and with her son. Mary, as all good mothers do, was the first example in Jesus’ life of what it meant to turn it all over to God. That little boy saw in that woman the complete surrender, the complete joy, and complete openness to God. In that witness, in his humanity, his divinity rose up and was lived to its fullest. Mary was the first example to Jesus.
Mary and baby JesusMary carried many mysteries in her heart as she raised that boy. Part of Mary’s witness for us is that her life circumstances didn’t change after she learned of Jesus’ coming. When the angel Gabriel told her of the miracle that would happen to her, she was already engaged to Joseph. She’d already planned to make a home, to raise a child. And so her life plans really didn’t change. And yet, she spoke that great “yes” that changed the world.
We are invited to live in the same spirit of yes. When we say yes to God, we may fear having to make some bold, dramatic, great change in our lives. Rather, we say yes right where we are. In that yes, our lives will be transformed. In that yes, the lives of everyone we meet will be touched, because we will be living out of our love of God. We are invited to be that through which the life of God flows into this world, so that love, compassion, healing, mercy, joy, and peace will be more fully revealed. Mary knew that deep joy, she lived out of that deep joy, and she held these great mysteries in her heart. And she taught her son well.
Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

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