Marian Advice During These Troubling TimesCarolina Soares
Marian Advice During These Troubling Times
Back in the good ole’ days (literally a week or so ago), we would grudgingly get out of bed on a Sunday morning and get ready for Mass. We had the luxury of choosing a church to go to with a Mass schedule that fit our needs. It was truly a gift knowing that we had so many choices…so many chances to participate in a holy Mass. We could participate in family gatherings, attend our children’s sports games, and hang out with our friends. Sure, we had our daily worries, but we would set them aside to enjoy the blessings around us. Life was truly great.
Little did we know that in one week, our lives would quickly change, and all of the privileges we once enjoyed would be taken away. We can no longer go to church, gather at young adult events, or even participate in community events. We can’t even properly socialize with our friends without risk of contaminating them. Our social life has been taken away, and we find ourselves singing along to the 21 st Century Survival Blues . Who knew that an invisible virus would have such a huge impact in our lives.
We have no option but to adjust ourselves to this new way of living. Some of us have no jobs or are working from home. Some of us are asked to become in-home teachers overnight and are doing our best to teach our children so they don’t fall behind in school. Some of us are learning how to cook or clean for the first time. And those of us who are constantly on the go, are forced to stay still, a feeling we don’t enjoy.
This wouldn’t be a bad time to call upon our Blessed Mother Mary and ask her to give us some wisdom in what to do during these trying times. She is the mother of our Lord, and like Christ, wants us to thrive in situations such as this. With that, I have come up with seven pieces of wisdom for you based on the life of our Blessed Mother:
Keep a Journal
Mary experienced many trials and blessings throughout her life. Scripture says that she “kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:19). I am not sure about you, but I have a really bad memory and can’t remember what I had for dinner. So, I bought myself a journal to keep track of my daily life. I recommend you do the same. Over time, you will observe certain patterns in your life that you never picked up on before. This will help you keep track of what you do on a daily basis and encourage you to make some changes to grow closer to our Lord.
Set Some Time Aside To Pray
Back in Mary’s day, the Jews would read from the Torah and observe their traditions in a faithful way. They would head to the temple and pray. However, they would also set aside some time for daily prayer, and we are called to do the same. This is the time to place all of your focus on our Lord, and ask our Blessed Mother to intercede for you and for the ones you love. It is a great time to share your trials and tribulations with God, as well as the blessings and graces you receive each day.
Pray for Someone In Need
Instead of focusing on your struggles, think of others who are in need of your prayers. You can offer up your hardships for their ultimate good. It’s called Redemptive Suffering, and it’s not as bad as you think it may be. When our Lord made His way to Golgotha to be crucified, he was beaten and scourged. Though Mary’s heart was heavy with all that she had seen, she knew with all of her heart, that He was doing all of this with a purpose… a purpose she did not yet understand — our salvation. Though she could not fathom what He was enduring, she held these things within her heart. We, too, can do the same, and offer our struggles for someone who is in greater need than us.
Write a Letter and Email it to Someone You Know
Nowhere in Scripture do we find Mary writing a letter to someone. However, in the first chapter of Luke, we find Mary making her way to visit Elizabeth after finding out that she is pregnant. Though she was pregnant herself, she decided to make the journey and visit her cousin. It was an unexpected surprise, and I am sure Elizabeth appreciated it. Though we cannot visit our friends in this pandemic, we can still write “virtual” letters to let them know that we are thinking of them. An email can go a long way especially at this time.
Be Present to Those Around You
Mary spent her entire life dedicated to God and her family. This is the perfect time for us to do the same. Instead of scrolling through your social media pages or binge-watching a season of The Office, spend some time with your family. Host a game night, a bake-off, or a craft day with your families or loved ones. Reach out to your grandparents or relatives by giving them a call or check in with your friends to see how they are doing. Yes, we have to practice social distancing, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop being social.
Surrender Your Fears and Anxieties to Our Lord
Our Blessed Mother went through many trials in her life as she raised Jesus. Imagine being tasked with raising the Son of God, a huge undertaking for a very young woman. I am sure she experienced many fears and anxieties, but at the end of the day, she entrusted all of these uncertainties and concerns to our Lord. This is the perfect time for us to practice surrender. The “ Surrender Novena ” prayer encourages us to do just that. This prayer allows you to place all of your fears and anxieties at the feet of Our Lord through the intercession of Mary. By the end of this Novena, you will feel better knowing that Our Lord has His loving hand working in your life.
Be Patient with Our Lord
In the second Book of John, Mary and Jesus celebrated with a married couple at the Wedding Feast of Cana. When the servers ran out of wine, our Blessed Mother tells Jesus, and He replies to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). So she told the servants to “do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). She knew that He would take care of the situation, and she patiently waited until He worked His miracle. We must do the same during this time and believe that Our Lord will take care of us and our families. We must hold on to our faith.
My hope for this email is to encourage young adults to deepen their prayer life and find ways to better their relationship with Jesus, Mary, their families, friends and communities — especially at this time. Though we cannot physically receive any of the sacraments, we can still open our hearts to the love and mercy of our Lord and remain truly faithful to His Church. Each week, I will share a new topic with some insight using scripture, Church teachings, and saints’ quotes.
If you have any questions or are struggling with any aspects of the Catholic faith, feel free to reach out and we can address them in our next article.
Always remember, you are not alone. We are in this together… and under the loving mantle of our Blessed Mother, Mary