Our team has a strong devotion to “Mama Mary” as Andrew (team member) has taught us to call our Heavenly Mother up in Heaven. One of our favorite ways to end night prayer or “after retreat prayer” is by singing the Hail Mary. We also love praying the scriptural rosary together in the van which has different verses from scripture in between each Hail Mary. This has been a beautiful way to meditate on the mysteries together. 

I made St. Louis de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary for the first time 5 days before I arrived at NET’s fall training. I knew I wanted her to take care of everything. My family. My past. My present. My future. Me. I’ve found out that she really wants to be a part of my life, specifically in this season, in our life as a team.

During our first month on the road, the imagery of stone, trickling water, and roses were all coming up in several of our personal and team prayer times. We knew the Holy Spirit was leading us to a certain title of Mary to be our “team saint” and watch over us and our ministry more intimately, but we felt called to wait to find the specific title engraved in stone. After a couple weeks, we came across a beautiful stone statue of Mama Mary down the road from where we were staying. She was holding her sleeping Son in her arms and looking down at us tenderly. Engraved at the bottom were the words “Our Lady of Providence”.

We prayed with this title and a few days later at a retreat cite, there was a poster with Our Lady of Providence on it. We named her our official team saint and she has been showing up everywhere and holding us, just as she holds her sleeping Son.

We spent Thanksgiving break with our team member Sam’s family which was such a blessing. His family happens to be close friends with Christopher West, a Catholic author and speaker known for his extensive work (books, talks, classes, and more) on St. Pope John II’s teachings on Theology of the Body. We had the incredible privilege to meet him and his wife and to hear a 2 hour presentation on Mary and Theology of the Body. By the end of this, our minds were completely blown and our souls were burning, our longing to know Mary and Her Son filling our hearts and spilling over onto the floor.

He talked about how Mary is like the moon: She is humble enough to only reflect the light of the sun, her Son. Because of her humility, every beautiful thing reflects HER. If you enjoy smelling the flowers or wading in a creek, or listening to a beautiful song, you do this because you’re being attracted to her. The flowers imitate her scent, the water strives for her sweetness and purity, and all of creation is singing her song. Christopher said “We just have to let Jesus stick His fingers into our ears and unplug them.” 

We learned Mary is in the center of creation and we must go to her because Christ is literally in the center of Mary. Everything imitates her, yearning to contain Christ as she did. Psalm 84: 2-5 says “How lovely is your dwelling place O Lord of Hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord…Happy are those who dwell in your house! They never cease to praise you.” If we think about His dwelling as Mary, this has new meaning for us. It has helped me reflect on the idea that HOME is in Christ. If Christ is in Mary and also my teammates, then home is within them.

When we were in Perryville, MO we got to visit the breathtaking Shrine of the Miraculous Medal. We toured the Rosary walk and got to pray by many different statues and depictions of Mama Mary. As the sun was setting, we prayed next to a beautiful bronze statue of our Lady. She was sitting with her hands open in front of her. Twenty feet behind her, over her shoulder was another bronze statue of Christ, standing with his arms outstretched towards his mother and us.  We took turns kneeling and placing our hands into our Lady’s hands. This was such a beautiful experience and a good visual reminder for us that he will bring our sorrows and joys right to her son. 

It is always good for me to reflect deeper on Mama Mary’s “yes!” and her willingness to serve Christ every single moment. I’ve come to realize that this woman is FIERCE. Something the Lord has been revealing to me and my teammates through couples and families that generously host us and take us in, is that fierce love is quiet. It serves everyone else and is so gentle, you don’t even question if it is true or not. You know it is. I don’t question Mary’s love for her Lord, her Son.

Born without sin, this Lady was the only human to never separate themself from God. Not only did she bring up the Son of God, but she was the only one in all of history that shared in His Passion without inflicting it. Imagine just how close Christ must feel to her. Imagine just how much Christ must want us to know her. I like to think of a moment he might have locked eyes with his mom while on the cross. Imagine the immense sorrow she must have felt when she watched the one she gave her entire heart too, brought into the world, raised, laughed with, and suffered with, die. 

Just as she held her sleeping babe the day He was born, just as she held her sleeping Son dead in the tomb, she holds you in times of great sorrow and promises to take care of everything. She whispers sweetly, “Look up to see my Son’s face.”

Have a blessed day–await the Lord in joy!

~Kat and Sally and Amanda and Samuel and Luke and Grace and Brenden and Samantha and Isaiah and Sarah and Andrew and Elizabeth from NET Team 9!!

 

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