January 1, 2019: Significantly, the beginning of another year. More significantly, as a Catholic woman, I celebrate the special day of celebrating the Feast of the Mother of God. I would like to take this post to reflect on her and motherhood as I look into the words of the Holy Father, Pope Francis:

Let us now be guided by today’s Gospel. Only one thing is said about the Mother of God:

Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). She kept them. She simply kept; Mary does not speak. The Gospel does not report a single word of hers in the entire account of Christmas. Here too, the Mother is one with her Son: Jesus is an “infant”, a child “unable to speak”. The Word of God, who “long ago spoke in many and various ways” (Heb 1:1), now, in the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4), is silent. The God before whom all fall silent is himself a speechless child. His Majesty is without words; his mystery of love is revealed in lowliness. This silence and lowliness is the language of his kingship. His Mother joins her Son and keeps these things in silence. That silence tells us that, if we would “keep” ourselves, we need silence…

Oh, Mother of God! What kind of madness is keeping silent? I have to admit full guilt in the lack of this grace. I have been frantic and fiery. Silence, seems a long forgotten friend. And today, as a Catholic, I am reminded to be in silence.

What is even more of madness is to “ponder them in my heart”. Whew… I have been nothing close to still or serene over the past years. Yes, to the minds of many people, I am exactly that. But motherhood has made me less of these. In both good and bad way, I believe… Mother of God, help me!

Today, as the Catholic community commemorates this Solemnity of Motherhood, an invitation to be silent, still and serene comes. I am challenged.

The Pope goes to say that Mary had her shares of joys and sorrows.

“On the one hand, the birth of Jesus, the love of Joseph, the visit of the shepherds, that radiant night. But on the other, an uncertain future, homelessness “because there was no place for them in the inn” (Lk 2:7), the desolation of rejection, the disappointment of having to give birth to Jesus in a stable.

Like all us mothers, she had hopes and worries, light and darkness too. But, all these things dwelt in her heart and she pondered them. The Pope said Mary dwelt on them.  Oh, the Mother of God dwelt on them with God, in her heart.She held nothing back; she locked nothing within out of self-pity or resentment.

And boom! That hit me straight; right there. That, is the BIG difference. Often, I have held back and curled in endless worries, fears and anxiety. Mary, on the other hand, gave everything over to God by turning everything into a dialogue with God. God, who keeps us in his heart, then comes to dwell in our lives. I have been lacking in sincere dialogues with God.

This leaves a beautiful invitation to start the year. It is an invitation to be still and to ponder. It is an invitation to be calm and to get into a dialogue with our Creator. Some can call it meditation or prayer. I choose to welcome and accept the invitation. Oh, Mother of God, help me, please. This will be my first 2019 invitation (intentionally, choosing it as an invitation and not a challenge). Well be the first item in the good habit list of January. What’s yours?