If you are at all like me, your life has changed dramatically over these past few months. This pandemic is like nothing we have ever experienced before. Our lives have been brought to a screeching halt, and have been turned upside down—literally! For many of us, there has been no Mass for over two months! To help ourselves hold it all together, we’ve been looking for pathways to peace and serenity…
Even though our Pauline Book Centers have been physically closed to our walk-in patrons and in-store events (I live in our St Louis convent), and our parish and school visits have ended (and for an extrovert, that is difficult!), there is still plenty of work to do. There are pick-up and mail orders in addition to our online webstore. There are online book groups, Zoom meetings, and video chats. Then there is cleaning the house, grocery shopping, or going to pick up other “essential items.” This has all become very time-consuming! There’s the face mask and gloves; there’s the social distancing and longer waits in stores; and there is the whole cleaning process when you get home, i.e., disinfecting and wiping down packages, etc. It is no longer quick and simple!
What is the way to peace in all this? My first response is prayer, deeper prayer, prayer that roots us always more in the Word of God. My second response—and something that has always been a source of renewal for me—is the outdoors. Nature brings me healing. It brings me peace; it offers me a place to sort things out. Because of this I have been taking long walks… with Mary!
I have had a devotion to her for years, but it's different now. The pandemic seems to have changed many things for me, and this is one of them. My love for Mary is coming to a new level. It’s deeper; it’s touching my whole life. And it is happening through the Rosary.
I have said the Rosary for a long time. The difference is that now I pray it with her! I contemplate the mysteries with her at my side. I ask her questions: “What was it like when you and Joseph lost Jesus in the Temple? You both thought that he was with your relatives. You must have been terrified! Help me overcome my own fears…”
“What was it like when the angel told you that you would become the mother of the Messiah? You were only fifteen years old, and this Child would not be conceived the “normal way.” We know you were afraid, for it tells us this in Scripture; how could you not be! How did you maintain your peace? And how do we maintain our peace in this pandemic? Help me; help each of us navigate the future!”
When we do this, we are heeding the words of St. John Paul II, “The Rosary mystically transports us to Mary’s side as she is busy watching over the human growth of Christ.” Let us invite Mary to walk with us during these days and months. We won’t be disappointed.
Here is a guided audio prayer to Mary, Woman of the Spirit. I hope you can join me!
by Sr. Laura Rhoderica Brown, fsp
image: sinopsisfilms for Cathopic