A Mary Moment Monday post

What was Mary doing 2000 years ago?

What was her Advent like?

I came across a quote by Papa the other day, and it made me reflect on Advent and Mary in a whole new way.

Let us turn our gaze and our heart to him, in spiritual union with the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Advent. Let us place our hand in hers and enter joyfully into this new time of grace that God gives as a gift to his Church for the good of all humanity. Like Mary and with her maternal help, let us make ourselves docile to the action of the Holy Spirit, so that the God of peace may sanctify us totally, and the Church become a sign and instrument of hope for all men.

Benedict XVI, November 29, 2008, via BenedictEverday.com

The image of holding Mary’s hand is one that I turn to often. It speaks to me of the intimacy that comes when you’re comfortable with someone. It gives me comfort at the “I’m still a little girl” level.

My four-year-old has a way of slipping her hand in mine when she’s scared and when she’s delighted. She will sometimes sidle up beside me and I’ll just find her hand in mine with no awareness of her having put it there.

I like to think that I can do that with Mary, that when I’m most lonely and lost, I can just slip my hand in hers, feel the callused warmth of her presence beside me.

I like to imagine that when things are top-of-the-world, when I get news that makes me smile and jump up and down and nearly pee my pants, I can grab her hand and see her smiling just as broadly as she can.

How different can Advent be for me if I place my hand in Mary’s and walk with her? How can docility–willingness to cooperate with Someone Else’s will–open me to a whole new experience?

Might I find myself in a place other than where I planned to be? Could I embrace the discomfort of a cold cave, the inconvenience of unexpected (and possibly smelly) guests, the joy of a host of angels?

If I’m open, if I hold on to Mary’s hand this Advent, I can walk with her and maybe, just maybe, experience a small sliver of the peace, hope, and joy that the Christ Child brings on Christmas Day.

Mary & Joseph image credit
hands image credit