A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Talking With Mary

John Dunmore

by John Dunmore

We pray to Mary .  The Hail Mary is the most concise, all-embracing prayer one could dream up, and the Rosary enshrines an unparalleled expression of communal devotion.

But do we ever talk with Mary?

Her life has so many features in it that correspond to our own that we can bring it into our own life, sharing our daily activities with her, with our sorrows, our joys, our cares, our workaday tasks, and be helped, strengthened and consoled in the simplest of ways. Prayer in this sense can be personalised.

So much of her daily life was modest and simple. There were indeed tragedies beyond what we could suffer, from the flight into Egypt to the horribly painful death of her son, but there was so much that relates to daily life, so much that we can share and simply talk about, to be consoled and strengthened.

She was essentially a housewife, a mother working at ordinary tasks in a small household, with a husband who was a simple carpenter, and a small child who, however great what his persona might have been, beyond imagination, played, smiled, slept in a small house, probably a two-roomed cottage. Friends came to visit, to comment on daily happenings in a small tight-knit community, discussing at times the weather, a possible drought, the small crops that struggled around their homes, the health or well-being of other friends. It was, for years, a simple life.Mary

When you too are working at some mundane task, you can share your thoughts with her. You can comment on the shortages you may have; you may think about all the facilities you have in your home compared with what existed in her time. You can tell her of some pain you may have, physical or emotional, that you have not mentioned to anyone else, for which she in return will give you some courage or consolation.

Noises around you might make you think of all the sounds she heard around her cottage, the sound of voices, or of a carpenter at work close by. You may have children away from home, at school, at college, at work or away, and you can tell her about them, and wonder in return what she felt like when Jesus was away travelling and preaching in distant places. You miss them as no doubt she missed Jesus. You worry about them, just as she too undoubtedly worried about him. You can tell her how proud you are at some achievement of theirs, at school, at sport, at work, and smile with her because she would understand, as she felt proud and honoured by the reports she heard of the crowds that flocked around him.

If you feel a little lonely, share your thoughts with her, and remember that in her day there was no mail, no telephone, no means of communication apart from the very occasional passing traveller who brought some news of his achievements.

You can think of Mary during a pause or a gap in your life, during a short, empty moment when you are out shopping, or waiting for a bus, or simply looking at the setting sun. Mary will stand at your side and smile at you, a simple, patient woman who understands your life, although chosen by God for a great and wonderful task.praying-the-rosary-724621

You can place her, as we do deservedly, on a pedestal, but remember that she can be your friend, your companion, your help.

Pray by all means, but bridge the gap between you by talking to Mary, and you will never feel lonely or forgotten.


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