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A Timeless Devotion, a New Friend

Like many Catholics, I have always revered Mary. Her “yes” to becoming the mother of Jesus inspires us to listen and respond to God’s call. Her prayerful life is a model for us to follow.
To me, Mary was an ideal, an icon. While I had always honored and admired her, I never really had a devotion to her. I pray to God during Mass, my husband and I say Grace before dinner, and I thank God every evening for all of my
When I was pregnant, my husband bought me a beautiful picture of Mary. I loved it so much that I promptly put it up in our bedroom. I was nearing the end of my pregnancy during Advent and often thought of Mary because of the Gospel readings. Many nights before I went to bed, I contemplated Mary’s pregnancy. While the pregnancy was divine, she was still human. Did she have terrible heartburn as I did? Could she sleep at night towards the end of her pregnancy? I continued to be in awe of her “yes” to God and what she would endure by being the mother of Jesus.
Then I became a mother. For the first few weeks of motherhood I thought of nothing but feeding, soothing, and sleeping. One particular night, as I was rocking my son after a 2 a.m. -feeding, I looked up at the Mary picture. I wondered what kind of baby Jesus was. Did he cry in the night and keep her awake? Did she have to rock him and soothe him in the manger? Probably. Fully human and fully divine, he was just a baby. As I visualized Mary and Joseph soothing Jesus in the manger, I did something more than just admire her. I began to pray to Mary.
I was exhausted. I had been crying as I was rocking him, thinking of the long day it had been and the very long night still ahead of me.
I prayed to Mary for strength. She was a mother. She knew exactly how hard this was. She knew how much I loved my son, and how badly I needed him to go to sleep.
I asked her to watch over him, to protect him, to keep him growing healthy and strong. As he finally settled down, I prayed to her to let him sleep just a few hours so I could get some rest and be the attentive, nurturing mother I needed to be.
I put him down, crawled back into bed, and fell asleep saying the “Hail Mary” over and over again.
When he woke again, three blissful hours later, I scooped him up and started to feed him. I gazed at the picture of Mary and prayed in thanksgiving for the sleep, for my amazing son, and for my wonderful husband, who would be on diaper duty after this feeding.
In this new journey of motherhood, through the rough patches, the perfect moments, and everything in between, I am so grateful that Mary will be there with me every step of the way.
Amy Reed is a member of RENEW International’s Marketing and Communications team. A Notre Dame alumna, she and her husband recently welcomed their first child, a boy, to the family.

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One Response to “A Timeless Devotion, a New Friend”

  1. Lovely post! Thank you for sharing! It sure is nice to have Mary on our side 🙂

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