Friday, December 12, 2014

Word for the Day: Mary

Today the Church celebrates the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is to say that, as it does so often, the Church celebrates Mary.

Reflecting on the Gospel readings this morning, I realized how central “Mary” has been to my life.

  • Her apparition at Lourdes as the Immaculate Conception in 1858 led to an important experience for me in 1972, as I wrote in the memoir excerpt posted yesterday
  • My daughter, whose name is a variant of Mary, invited me to walk the Camino de Santiago with her forty years later in 2012, a definite turning point in my spiritual life.
  • One of my sisters, another Mary, has been instrumental more recently in helping me see certain things about myself, for which I sincerely thank and honor her.

I salute Mary in these and other guises.

The first Mary in my life may have been the most important. Long before I myself became a Catholic, my mother’s mother, named Mary, did so. I have decided to post an excerpt about her today in her honor and of course in Mary’s.

Now a grandparent myself, I recognize that “Ammie,” among all my parents’ parents, may have done more for me—unnoticed, uncelebrated, not always appreciated—than anyone in my young life. Every time I play with my own granddaughter, she inspires me.

This is her story in brief.

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