Friday, March 25, 2011

Today... a few random thoughts

I really like this feast day...the Feast of the Annunciation.... cuz Momma Mary is my mother, friend, guide and a sure path to Jesus.

We've all have days that change our life... but on this day, something happened to Mary that not only changed her life, but changed my life and yours. Her "yes" to God's message from an angel ushered in the messianic age. (See Luke 1.)

Today has a different meaning for me, too.

On this date, 18 years ago, I had one of those life-changing days: I received a really awesome gift... the birth of my third child and last child, Peter.  It was a thrilling birth, but a hard one on my body. But Peter James came into our lives and has never stopped bringing us joy.

Here he is at age 2.

Peter's turning 18 signals that I'm now a parent to three grown-up children. My life, and his, are getting ready to change again as he prepares to graduate high school and I prepare for an empty nest, of sorts. As the older two went off to college, and on to new things, people would ask me what I was going to do... as I've always been cobbling together various part time pursuits in the writing and ministry life.  I'd always look back over my shoulder at Peter there... a lot of things in my life could wait until he was ready to fly. But by late August, Peter will depart for college, somewhere. (Its not fully decided where, just yet.) And come fall, I wonder what else I might be doing, when I'm not attending fencing meets and piano recitals and parent-teacher meetings and such.

I wonder whether my life will stay in its current rhythm or if it will change again.

A mother, I think, grows up and changes right along with her children. The phases and stages of mothering flow and change according to the family's needs. Through it all I've looked to Mary for her witness and example. She raised a son to adulthood. And she knows. And I'm counting on her to let me know just what I need to know when August rolls around. Mary's never failed me.

Mary, and the rosary, got me through the baby and toddler years where sometimes I thought I might lose my mind for the sheer work and exhaustion that comes from the high demands of hands-on mothering. And Mary got me through the middle years as I pondered the renewed life of a cancer-survivor Mom. And she got me through the teenage years with ever-increasing grace and fortitude. And now I look to her again, as I begin yet another slow-motion letting go and leave taking of another young adult child.

Here's Peter in the final fencing bout that won the State Title for his team last month.
The bout and the tourney was won by one point. 
To say it was a cliff-hanger was an understatement.

Peter, today, photo courtesy of The Eagle-Tribune.

Today's Annunciation reminds me that God is always about announcing Good News. And his love comes to us, not only through the message of an angel, and the power of the Blessed Virgin's "yes"... but it also manages to comes to us in all the ways we have said "yes" to God's will in our lives... For me, today, that equals a yes to marriage, yes to bearing children, yes to raising them, and yes, even now, to watching them go.

Mary's motherhood has deep ramifications for all women, and for all the world. And on another day, we might talked about the theological import of all of that.

But for me, and for today, I'm happy that Peter's birthday shares her special feast. Mary was all about yielding her life to God as a Mom. She raised a son. She prayed for him. She watched him go...


Love this brand new video featuring Fr. James Martin, SJ.

Who Cares About the Saints? - Mary from Loyola Productions on Vimeo.

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