Following Her Footsteps
September 8, 2018
It’s a funny thing, the way He plants tiny seeds. Every where I turn I hear and see the same message. A sign of becoming more, a sign of taking that next step towards His will. I can’t ignore His call though it’s subtle as the fall breeze. I can’t look away though it’s a dim light in the distance. My eyes are locked in and my heart set on following the promptings. But I often cry out, “how?” I understand what He is asking me to do. I understand that I need to humble myself and give it all to Him but my heart burns with doubt in my own strength. It falls numb to the question of how I could possibly become who He is asking me to be.
As I turn to the saints they say the same thing. Do small things with great love. Follow the footsteps of Mary. Humble yourself to the point of self-denial. Trust in Jesus always. These are beautiful bouts of wisdom but I still never understood how to do such things. I am so caught up in my weakness that I can’t seem to find His strength. My heart is restless to find Him but it feels so distant. Lord, where are you. Show me how.
As it turns out, understanding comes from Him, in His time. No amount of words from others will convict deeply enough to enact true and lasting change. But others prompt us and God uses them to plant the seeds and water them until we are ready.
I was recently brought to my knees by a quote that lead me to a deeper conviction of following Mary’s path:
A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy or enough. She knows in her quiet center where God dwells that he finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy, and in him, she is enough.Stasi Eldredge
Prompted by this quote my heart turned to the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. In the quiet meditation I saw Mary silently standing behind Jesus in all his pain.
I closed my eyes and watched as Mary followed Jesus silently to Calvary. Her heart breaking with every step but her feet never giving way to despair. Her humble strength poured forth in tears, and her faith was made perfect in her obedience. She could do nothing to stop what was happening, and if she could, Jesus wouldn’t want her to. I imagined her gentle heart being pierced deeper and deeper. For three days the weapon festered in her wounds. She patiently endured the tortures as she waited for her Son’s promise to be fulfilled. In one final cry to heaven the sword was removed and all the hidden beauty of her heart poured out into the light of the Resurrection.
She spent her life hidden in perfect union with God. She was faithful to her duties as wife and mother. She was content to follow behind in prayer and silent suffering. Her heart was pure and perfect. She paved a perfect path for all mothers and wives to follow. God whispers, “follow her.”
I still didn’t understand how. I’ve spent days reflecting on different paths to take and it all has brought me back to Mary. It hit home last night as I was reading a biography about Blessed Anna Maria Taigi. She imitated Mary to a T. This passage reiterated what I’ve been trying to learn:
“We are all and each of us so impregnated with evil, we are so saturated with our own sins and the sins of those about us, that we fail to realize the sublime and exquisite beauty of daily life, with its round of ordinary occupations, as lived and performed by a perfectly holy being. We have woven our passions into every act and every thought, we walk with their hot breath on our lips, we break bread with our sin-soiled hands, we hew wood and draw water in the covetousness of our nature; and the exquisite, tender, and pathetic beauty of ordinary daily life escapes our perception. If we would learn to see it, we must study Mary. He who did not abhor the Virgin’s womb will make the scales fall from our eyes, if we set ourselves quietly and deliberately to contemplate Her who He chose to be His Mother. The dignity of life, we are apt to miss in our graceless scuffle with ourselves and with others, will gradually dawn upon us … He has given us His own pure and Virgin Mother to go hand in hand with us through the routine of existence.”
I have began to learn and feel that God is calling me to imitate Mary right here in my home. That she is my path to heaven and she is my guide. I no longer need to ask how because it has been laid out perfectly before my very eyes. Now comes the difficult part of putting it into action. Of remaining faithful to household duties and service of my family. To be contented to stay little and hidden, working for the glory of God.
The little way of family life is a very real and glorious mission for all those who embrace it. There is no better day to start than today, on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord …Colossians 3:23-24