Fr. Paddy’s Blog

The month of May, traditionally is associated with devotion to Mary mother of Jesus. Mary holds such an important role not just in the life of Jesus, but in the tradition of our Christian culture. Her courageous “Yes” when invited to partake, in one of the great mysteries in the history of our salvation, continues to resonate with a deep sense of hope and grace. Mary is an iconic woman, courageous, contemplative and deeply empathetic to all humanity. Mary knew the vicissitudes of what it is to rear a family. Her kindness and empathy is close to us especially in this beautiful month of May.

Mary shows us how to listen;

Mary was a young girl living in a culture where she could have been stoned to death for having a child out-of-wedlock. She knew the cultural and societal consequences of her “yes.” She knew what could happen if Joseph didn’t understand. She had reason to fear her parents’ reactions. When the angel appeared to Mary, we read in scripture how she was deeply troubled. Somewhere deep within she found the courage, inner strength, and grace to respond with full assent, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” Mary showed us what it means to listen with full intensity to what God is asking, God’s invitations may very well demand everything of us. Deep pondering, heart-centered attentiveness, and courageous listening are required of us, too.

Mary shows us how God’s word must be shared with others;

When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, they did not simply exchange a simple greeting, but one of deep faith. God’s word is meant to be shared. It cannot be contained within us if we are to be filled with the life it offers. We must share it with others, we are invited to ponder the word of God so that we might share it joyfully with others.

Mary shows us how to live in God’s word;

Mary lived moments of profound joy as well as profound sorrow. From losing Jesus in the Temple to the journey to Calvary, Mary lived these sorrows and anguished deeply. Mary formed and raised Jesus from the simplicity of her daily life. She was a person in conversation with God, with the Word of God, and also with the events through which God spoke to her. From the Annunciation to Pentecost, Mary appears as someone whose freedom is completely open to God’s will and shows us how to live in God’s word. In this month of May, may we turn to Mary in our times of joy and sorrow and ask her to continue to show us the way to her Son. As we strive to grow in faith and live more fully in God’s word, may we, like Mary, bring Christ to others.

Pope Francis has talked about this devotion and how Mary’s faith “unties the knot of sin.” We, too, can be bound by our own disobedience, Pope Francis explained. When we do not follow God’s will for our lives, “a kind of knot is created deep within us.” These knots take away our peace and serenity. They are dangerous, since many knots can form a tangle which gets more and more painful and difficult to undo. What are these “knots of our soul”? Knots of financial stress, wayward children, addiction, illness, depression, divorce, stress, unemployment. Most of us are dealing with at least one large knot. Not all of them are the result of our own sin. Some are simply the painful situations that come from living in a fallen world. But we know one thing: nothing is impossible for God’s mercy! Even the most tangled knots are loosened by his grace. And Mary, whose yes opened the door for God to undo the knot of the ancient disobedience, is the Mother who patiently and lovingly brings us to God, so that he can untangle the knots of our soul by his fatherly mercy.

Pope Francis Prayer to Mary…

Dearest Holy Mother, Most Holy Mary, you undo the knots that suffocate your children. Extend your merciful hands to me. I entrust to You today this knot [mention your request here] and all the negative consequences that it provokes in my life. Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me. Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exist in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exists in my life. You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot. [Mention request here] I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once and for all. You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge! Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me. Amen.