This is why I’m not going to use the Saint Generator this year.
Now is the time to figure out all those resolutions for the new year, right? As Catholics, our new Liturgical Year began with the first Sunday of Advent, but I don’t know, I still use January 1st as a new beginning. Rather than tackling 100 resolutions that will likely fizzle out by Epiphany, I’m trying to narrow in on a few practical and challenging-enough resolutions that I might be able to keep…and will help me pray, draw closer to Jesus, get healthier, better fulfil my vocation and enjoy 2017 to its fullest.
For as long as it’s been available, I’ve been turning to the Saint Generator this time of year to assign myself a patron saint for the year. It’s an excellent practice…helps us learn more about the saints and inspires us to try to be like them. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that as I usually receive an unfamiliar saint, I tend to quickly research the saint and extract as much information as I can, but I inevitably lose my focus and forget to really invite the saint into my life…by mid-January.
At first, I thought that I would just assign myself one of my favorite saints for 2017… like St. Thérèse. From what I have read, I know that there are plenty of awesome books* presenting her theology, her pursuit of Jesus’ Arms as her personal elevator to holiness and her Little Way, already in bite-sized pieces that I can surely tackle.
Any of us can choose small deeds with great love and learn from her humble and profound Little Way especially if we can stay alert and focused and retain the gems we have read.
But then, I think I recognized a special call that has been in my heart for a while. You see, I have been eagerly reading this book* on the recommendation of my spiritual director. *Yes…another affiliate link. I can’t put this book down!
I had just admitted again that I’m kind of intimidated by our Blessed Mother (see the June 25th reflection of The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion – another affiliate link)
I know that I’m not supposed to be intimidated by our Mother Mary, but I just kind of assume that she’s going to be a little judgy. I assume that her usual kind of grimace-more-than-smile in images and statues is her inevitable disappointment – in me – and maybe of all mankind…and our faltering commitment to prayer, fasting and sacrifice. Well, I speak for myself…my commitment to prayer, fasting and sacrifice definitely falters. A lot.
I’ve tried to chalk up her kind-of-sad expression as dignified, or understandably sorrowful, given the 7 Sorrows of Mary that are actually an official devotion.
But I just couldn’t shake the notion that she’s disappointed.
I know. Even my spiritual director thinks my perspective is kind of weird. And it’s not new. I seem to gravitate towards assumptions of disappointment.
…but alas, drastic measures for 2017.
I know that Jesus gave her to us; He gave her to me.
I know that we’re supposed to be like little children…
and that actually, spiritually – we’re more like babies.
I need to rely on my Spiritual Mother…more like a baby.
While our relationship with our earthly mom matures as we become adults and even mothers in our own vocations, our reliance on our Blessed Mother…should actually get more intense and dependent as we recognize our littleness and our need for her.I keep coming back to this image, this icon. Do you see Baby Jesus’ hand wrapped around our Lady’s neck?
Do you see how intently He looks into her face?
My resolution for 2017 is to sneak into our Mother Mary’s arms, look into her face, tuck my arm around her neck and ask her to teach me, form me in my own motherhood, guide me in my day to day
and nudge me closer to Jesus.
My resolution for 2017 is to enroll in the Homeschool of Mary.
January 1st is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God…what a great day to start.
I hope to write more about it…as I learn exactly what it is.
Are you in?