A guest post by Allicia Jensen-soon-to-be-Faber
There was a flower bush in my grandmother’s back yard. She swears she didn’t plant it, but it was always there, just under the statue of Mary. My devotion to the Mother of God started something like that; I don’t know where the seed came from but one day it was blooming.
I remember getting my first Rosary. We had gone to an abbey in Massachusetts where my great uncle, Brother Gregory, lives. It was my first Catholic event, a baptism, though I remember very little about it except that my grandmother showed me all the beautiful jeweled rosaries in the gift shop. I must have been ten years old, and as ten-year-old girls tend to do, picked the most shimmering rosary I could find.
I had no idea what to do with it. I didn’t think much about that rosary again until many years later when my grandfather, was dying.
It was the first time I remember praying for God’s will to be done rather than my own. I spent days there praying for his quick passing. He had been sick a while and so I prayed, and cried, and asked for comfort for all of us. He passed away not long after that, but my desire to have a relationship with Mary didn’t.
For a few years now I have taken an hour-long shift at the Adoration Chapel in our parish. It started after a break up. I knew I needed to find my faith and where better to start looking than inside the church. Jesus was there, all I had to do was join him. I just didn’t expect to find Mary…or my future husband.
I started by praying the rosary almost weekly. It might seem odd to say, but I find the rosary to be a simple prayer. By meditating on the life of Jesus, we are taken through Mary’s life as well. This woman had a child, watched him grow, watched him suffer, buried her son, and saw him off to heaven. I felt strongly that it was my vocation to marry, but if I were to find the right husband I would need her help.
I asked Mary to help me become a better woman. “Help me, Mary, to be a wife and mother in your example.” Not only would I ask Mary to help me become my best self, I would ask her to ready my future spouse. Whoever he was, I asked her to make him ready for me. She was on double duty. I was counting on my heavenly Mother to have my best interest in mind, like any good mother would. When I found the man I thought might be the one, I kept praying.
We’ll be married this May. Our gospel reading is the wedding feast at Cana. Something about the way Jesus says “Woman” to his mother in that reading used to rub me the wrong way. After more reading and reflection, I understood; He isn’t calling her “woman” to be condescending, He is saying it with reverence.
That statue of Mary now sits in front of my parents’ house. I know some day she will end up in my yard, because after all, she is the reason my new family is about to begin.
Allicia Jensen (who will be Allicia Faber on May 14th!) is a 27-year-old nearly newlywed from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She is a writer, crafter, and social media lover. She can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter as @alliwait