Five Things the Spiritual Exercises Taught me about Mary

October 16, 2012

A few weeks ago on the dotMagis blog, I reflected on what the Spiritual Exercises taught me about Jesus. Since then, my mind began pondering what the Spiritual Exercises taught me about Jesus’ mother, Mary.

  1. I really like Mary!
    I am a born and raised Catholic, who did not really understand Mary’s significance until the Spiritual Exercises. It was through the nativity Scriptures that I suddenly grasped the significance of her role in our faith. I literally prayed those passages with a “baby in my arms” as Abby, my daughter, was only six months old as I entered the Second Week of the Exercises. Holding a child in my arms as I prayed through Luke’s nativity story bonded me to Mary, as a fellow mother of a human child, who nurtured and loved him the way every mother does our children.
  2. Mary pondered.
    “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) This little line continues to teach me about prayer, about discernment, and about watching two children grow into the people they are meant to be. How often does something come to my attention for a brief moment in my day that causes me to pause and go “hmmm”? In those moments, I find myself tucking them away in my heart, knowing that God through this tiny moment has more to teach me. I often notice things about my children too that make me pause and wonder, “What does this mean for the man and woman my children will eventually become?”
  3. Mary’s “yes” changed the world.
    If there was ever an example of being an active participant in God’s work, Mary is the epitome of it. We are not just invited to pray, but we are invited to say “yes” when we are called to help God answer the prayers of others who cry out for God’s help in this world.

To read #4 and #5 ….

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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