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Mary, Ever Faithful


As I checked out my calendar, I discovered that July is blueberry month, hot dog month, and ice cream month. It seems that every day of the month is dedicated to something, for example, sidewalk egg frying day or build a scarecrow day. Every day that is, except July 16.
 
Yet, July 16 is really a very special day. It is the celebration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
 
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the patroness of the Carmelite Order. The Church has long recognized the special relationship between this group and the Blessed Mother, which is represented by the brown scapular Carmelites wear. The scapular has a threefold significance: it is a sign of membership in the order; it is a sign of devotion and trust in the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and it is a sign of a willingness and dedication to live by the example of Mary in her fidelity and dependence on God in everything.
 
That last sign is one that we should all apply to our own lives. Each day we should examine how deep our faith is becoming in the midst of the craziness of everyday life. We may hesitate to compare ourselves to Mary, as she was sinless. However, Mary was human, and her life was hardly perfect. She was not among the rich and she was not highly educated. She was not famous until the birth of her Son and, in fact, would have been scorned and stoned by society as an unwed mother if it were not for Joseph.
 
What truly set her apart from the rest of us was her unwavering faith. This was not a faith that depended on success, a faith that would grow only if Mary always got what she wanted and felt as if she were in control of her life. Mary never faltered.
 
This day in July is dedicated to Mary’s wonderful sense of commitment and fidelity. Just as the Carmelites dedicate their lives to being faithful to their vocation and ask Mary to guard that fidelity, so, too, must we ask Mary to keep us faithful in the midst of our times of doubt and fear.
 
PETITION PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
Oh, most beautiful flower of Mt. Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my
necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me here you are my mother.
O Holy Mary Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beg you
from the bottom of my heart to hear my request (add your request).
There are none who can withstand your power.
Holy Mary, I place this prayer in your hands. Amen.
 
Sister Pat is a member of the RENEW staff, a Dominican Sister, and loves working with Young Adults as the program manager of Theology on Tap.

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