On January 1, one week from Christmas, we celebrate a feast that’s not only a holy day of obligation—Mary, the Mother of God—but also the World Day for Peace and the first day of the New Year.

In the midst of resolutions and late-night parties, we gather in churches around the world.  We ring in the New Year, every year, with the Eucharist, the highest salute we can give Mary in her most role as Mother of God.

It was five years ago that my perspective on this feast was altered. My husband and I were celebrating our second Christmas season, and I had insisted on attending the special midnight Mass our parish had scheduled. I was pregnant-to-bursting and the readings tugged at my heart and stuck a bit in my throat.

We were barely asleep at home when I noticed something strange.  By 9 am, I held our oldest daughter in my arms.

When I was at last alone in the hospital room that first night, infant sleeping, I prayed the Rosary.  I couldn’t sleep.  I was wired, though I was also exhausted.

All of a sudden, I had a new understanding of Mary. The word “mother” meant something completely different to me now that I had been through labor, now that I held a baby of my own, now that I was on the other side of my pregnancy.

The rest is at Faith & Family Live. Enjoy!