I always love New Year's Day. It makes me feel as though I have this huge white board in front of me, white a fresh-fallen snow, and I have the opportunity to make positive changes in my life. We all know about the common resolutions most people have during this time. Losing weight, exercising more, eating more nutritional meals, reading good books, and volunteering may all be worthy resolutions that will reap great rewards. But have you ever made a spiritual resolution? Something that will help you grow closer to God and strengthen your faith?
Mine for this year was quickly determined. I have chosen Mary as my spiritual resolution. I want to understand her more, and understand her role in the Church and in my life. For many years, I operated under the Protestant view of Mary, which isn't much. She was brought out around Christmas and that was it. So returning to the Catholic Church has included having to re-examine my thoughts regarding her and asking for God's grace to accept Church teaching.
I'm nowhere near being a Marianist and at this point, not worried if I ever will be. I'm taking this one step at a time. And as a matter of fact, another woman from my parish will be joining me for walking sessions where we walk and talk about Mary. She also has questions and reservations and we figured it would be good to explore these things together. I've already accepted the Immaculate Conception. There are other doctrines that I'll be examining and praying for God's guidance on knowing the truth and receiving it.
Attending today's Mass was part of this resolution. Today is the Solemnity of Mary, a feast day. It celebrates Mary's motherhood of Jesus. It also is the first Saturday of the month, perfectly beginning the New Year with the First Saturday devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There are five First Saturdays to this devotion, although they happen throughout the year. I find it fascinating how this devotion is meant to revere Mary, but yet also bring us closer to Jesus. Some Protestants don't understand this devotion but I can say that Mary is nothing without Christ. She is always pointing the way to Him. She never takes any glory for herself.
Recently, I heard a priest say something beautiful. He was talking about the Holy Rosary. He said, "The Rosary is a meditation on Jesus Christ, and seeing Him through the eyes of His mother." That really impacted me. I do meditate on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, but never saw it as that -- viewing Jesus through the eyes of His mother. And we all know how much mothers love their children! So these are with eyes of love that we are viewing our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I'll be commenting this year on any kind of spiritual lessons I'm learning as a result of this devotion. I do have the book by St. Louis de Montfort, Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I tried to do it in 2010 but didn't succeed. I'm going to try again this year.
I hope 2011 is an amazing year for you and that you, also, are drawn closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that we all know Him in a greater degree, starting today. :-)