October is the month the faithful devote to Marian devotions and praying the rosary. Our Blessed Mother deserves all the appreciation and respect we can give her. I offer 10 short meditations and prayers relating to her unique life.
1. The Immaculate Conception. From the very moment of her conception in Anne’s womb, Mary was free from any taint or inclination to sin. Innocent and spotless, Mary was highly favored and being prepared by God for her life of sacrificial love.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who are trying to resist temptation
and to atone for our many small and not-so-small sins.
2. The Annunciation. (Luke 1:26-38) Gentle Mary, bathed in Gabriel’s angelic light, was ready to surrender to God’s will regardless of her youth and inexperience. Her brave openness to God is truly inspirational.
Mary, thank you for your humble generosity.
Help us be ready to do God’s will.
Pray for us that we may understand what is asked of us
and trust in God’s protection in every challenge.
3. The Visitation. (Luke 1:39-56) Mary shared joy with her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth. The two women were together one trimester, serving, loving, and encouraging each other as their babies grew within them.
Joyful Mary, be our example of joy as the word of Jesus grows in us,
and we endeavor to share it with our families and companions.
4. The Nativity of Our Lord. (Luke 2:1-7) In far from ideal circumstances, Mary gave birth to our Savior. The sights and smells around her must have presented numerous problems in the stable setting as Jesus entered the world.
Mother Mary, intercede for us with your Son.
Please ask Him to help us to make the best of bad situations.
May we learn your patience and ingenuity as we strive
to help the helpless in our troubled world.
5. The Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. (Luke 2:22-38) Amazed by the words of Simeon and Anna, Mary paid attention to these holy people. Mary followed prescriptions of the Law and treasured the good words in her heart that would eventually be pierced as with a sword.
Sweet Mary, pray for us that we may keep our worries at bay
and try to stay optimistic with the knowledge that
our merciful God does not abandon us.
6. The Flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-15) Most likely with a measure of anxiety and urgency, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to avoid Herod’s murderous plan for their Son. Just thinking about that journey that, most certainly, was far from comfortable makes us more aware of how comfortable our life often is.
Mary, pray for us that we may use good judgement
in our care of ourselves and our loved ones.
Remind us not to take our freedom and safety for granted.
7. Searching for 12-year-old Jesus in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:42-50) Mary and Joseph must have been concerned when, for a while, they could not locate Jesus. Their understanding of Jesus’ mission fell somewhat short, according to their son. We might remember, if we are parents, when our young children’s agendas were not what we expected or encouraged. Parenting is not easy.
Long-suffering Mary, pray for us who sometimes lose close contact
with your son through laziness, omission, or sin.
Remind us to see Jesus in the poor and the lonely,
especially now as we suffer through the pandemic.
8. The Wedding at Cana. (John 2:1-11) Mary knew her son well enough to expect he would somehow help the host who was caught short on wine. Although Jesus said it was really not his time, he helped after all.
Wise Mary, pray for us as we try to do whatever Jesus tells us to do
to turn our problems into solutions, to never sell ourselves short.
Ask the Holy Spirit, to bless us with wisdom.
9. Dying, Jesus gives Mary to Us. (John 19:26-27) Jesus gave Mary into John’s care. As Jesus hung on the cross, he thought of others. Mary, in her agony at seeing her son’s suffering, is given a mission to mother all of us.
Mary, mother of all of God’s children, hold us closely as a loving mother does.
Be our model of perseverance.
Keep us mindful of the price your son paid for our eternal reward.
10. The Assumption of Mary. How ecstatic Mary must have been when she, in her body, was assumed into heaven and reunited with her son! Mary, the Queen of Heaven, had fulfilled her mission of love on earth. And, in heaven, she still loves all of us!
Dearest Mary, we thank you for all you do for us,
for all of your intercessory prayers.
Hail Mary! Full of grace! Praise to the Queen of Heaven!
Painting by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, CT. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.
RENEW's two Marian resources, At Prayer With Mary and No Temas, María will deepen your appreciation of and devotion to our Blessed Mother Mary and enrich your prayer experiences. Appropriate for seasonal groups, small Christian communities, and individual reflection and prayer.