Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Praying with the Blessed Mother

“All of these with their minds in full agreement devoted themselves steadfastly to prayer, waiting together with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus and His brothers.”  That’s the last thing we hear of the Blessed Mother's life in Scripture.  She is not even counted as the prominent one, but only, “with the women”.  She is left in prayer.  That is her life.  She is left under the authority of John.  So she lives in obedience for the rest of her life.
She is left to pray.  What did she most likely pray?  The Psalms.  What was her rule?  The words of Christ were her rule.  I imagine how she longed to hear the stories the apostles had of being with Christ.  She wasn’t present for all the events of His public life. She had to hear of some of them for the first time from the apostles.  I imagine the excitement she would have felt and perhaps also the loneliness at not having been part of it.

I reflect often on the loneliness of the life that Mary led, for, in a sense, every contemplative feels that loneliness.  We are alone in many ways. However the most precious thing for Mary during this time of being alone was that she was called to pray for the unity of the Church.  Mary’s life poured out for the unity of the Church because that was the last wish of Christ, “that they may be one.” (Jn 17) That was His dying wish.  That is also what God wishes for our Church today.  His wish is that we may be of one mind and one heart.  How does that happen?  When two are united in prayer.  When we pray together we are to be of one mind and one heart in our love of the Church, and our love of Christ.  Let us together remember that when we go to pray we are fulfilling the dying wish of Christ—to unite.  I think that is the glory of Mary's Assumption.  Her joy was to be united with Him.  Her desire was to be with her Son.  Her coronation was His gift to her.
To live independent is to fight unity.  When we fight unity, we tear apart the Body of Christ.  We once again crucify Him.  When we live grateful for one another, we unite the Body of Christ.  It begins in little ways.  I believe it is the contemplatives who come together who are to begin the last surge for the Church.  If you don’t believe evil will fight this you are living in a bubble.  Evil will fight it.  So I believe we truly need to do our best to live in gratitude for one another.  When we’re tempted not to, simply be grateful for the gift of another person.  So let us begin that great stretch of unity.  Let us strive to see Christ crowned once and for all as King.  Let us together long for Him so that that longing for Him may be what unites us all.

A reflection by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.