Marian Mondays: Handmaid of the Lord

Oh Marian Mondays, you’re my favorite link-up!

 

 

I’m having the same struggle as some of the other linker-uppers, which is, I am not a Marian scholar and far more knowledgeable and saintly folks who have gone before us have written plenty of inspired things about the Blessed Mother.  What could I possibly have to offer?

Honestly, not much, but I love this little weekly discussion/share group in honor of Mary so here I go with my little nugget:

“Whether she is a mother in the home, or occupies a place in the limelight of public life, or lives behind quiet cloistered walls, she must be a handmaid of the Lord everywhere…Were each woman an image of the Mother of God, a spouse of Christ, an apostle of the Divine Heart, then each would fulfill her feminine vocation no matter what conditions she lived and what worldly activity absorbed her life.”    ~St. Edith Stein~

This was a much treasured and oft-repeated quote from my college days at Franciscan University.  I was in the household Handmaids of the Lord, and our focus was to emulate the humility of the Blessed Mother, especially in her salvific Fiat.  I was so drawn to the household’s spirituality and it still serves as the road map for my spiritual life.

Now that I’m a stay-at-home-mom, I find myself thinking more of the hidden life of the Holy Family, that time between the finding of Jesus in the temple and the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.  All we know about that time is that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52).” Clearly Mary and Joseph were busy being the best parents ever, helping Jesus grow in wisdom and stature and all that.  I can’t help but think that Mary was always consciously living her fiat of so long ago.  In the menial, everyday tasks, in the quiet monotony of everyday life, she was renewing her “Yes” to God, and doing all things (as Mother Teresa said ) with great love.  She was a handmaid of the Lord at all times, no matter what the task at hand.  It’s easy to think of that title, the Handmaid of the Lord, and associate it with Mary in her glory moments: visiting her cousin Elizabeth, traveling across the country on a donkey, giving birth to Jesus in the stable, telling the waiters at the wedding to “do whatever he tells you”, standing at the foot of the cross,  and with the Apostles on Pentecost.

We have our glory moments in life too (let’s be honest, though, Mary’s got us beat), but the vast majority of the moments in life are quiet and hidden, and sometimes they can seem meaningless. Don’t cave to that feeling!  Every moment is a gift from the Lord, and an opportunity to love and praise Him.  I’m not saying that I’m really good at being a handmaid and imitating Our Lady, because I’m not.  But this is the goal I always come back to when I feel like I’m failing.

To go along with making the most of the quiet, hidden moments in our lives, I’ll share a picture of a little knick-knack my mom has on her desk:

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“No day is wasted except one in which God is not praised.”

I love this saying, and I plan on crafting my own version of this picture for my home.  It really helps me to refocus on the bigger picture when I get bogged down by negative feelings.

For more Marian reflections and inspiration, check out Marian Mondays on The Real JZ and Anima Kinsi.  Happy Monday!

Marian Mondays: McKitchen Madonna

Hi all!  This is going to be super short and sweet (just like the Blessed Mother, probably… people were short back then!), but I wanted to make sure that I linked up for Marian Mondays again because I think it’s such a wonderful linkup idea!

Anyway, I thought I’d share a picture of something that all of the McSisters own:

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Our wonderful Mother was the first one to have a Madonna of the Kitchen.  I think Aunt Jackie got it for her at an antique store.  Anyway, it’s been in my Mom’s kitchen (at our old house and now at their current house) for a long time.  Somewhere along the line, the rest of the McSisters all got their own Madonna of the Kitchen.  I can’t speak for how my other sisters got theirs, but my Madonna was a wedding shower gift from my youngest sister, Joanie.  She had the idea of getting me one and told Mom and together they found it on Ebay.  Isn’t that sweet?

I love my Madonna.  It’s a sweet reminder of my childhood home, the home where we learned our faith and developed our own devotions to Our Lady… the home where our Mother modeled Marian virtues in her demeanor and in every day life.  My Madonna reminds me that I now have that role in my family.

No, it’s not fine art, but it’s cute and sentimental and it does bring me back to the important things in life.

For more Marian-themed reflections, check out Marian Monday on Jiza’s or Kinsi’s blog.