Mary, the Mother of Our Vocation

May 2013 — Vol. 2, Issue 9

 

Mary and Her Immaculate Heart

Our vocation is God’s invitation for us to open our lives to His will. It is the invitation to place our trust in Him and conform our lives to His will such that He might do the great work through us that He has in store for the world.

Yet this openness and trust, this conformity to God’s will is a very daunting thing. Who knows what God might do with our life if we offer it over to Him?

Thankfully we have the wonderful witness and aid of the Blessed Mother. She placed her trust in God and conformed her life to Him in such a profound manner so as to forge a path for the rest of us which will always remain open. Through her, Christ entered into the world. Through her, we have been given the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Through her as well, we have the model that we all might follow.

Mary’s great yes in response to Gabriel’s invitation from the Lord is not merely something that happened in a moment; it was a response that grew out of her previous fidelity to God. Mary had grown up remaining faithful to God and His commandments. In little ways she had been saying yes to God already. Thus her great acceptance of the invitation to be Christ’s mother was a continuation of the yes’s already offered.  

In Mary then, we have the great witness of how we might prepare ourselves to receive God’s call. As Mary did long before she received Gabriel’s visit, we may prepare our hearts and practice our yes's to the Lord through our fidelity to participation in the Sacraments, to our personal prayer, and to our efforts to grow in charity. In these little ways we prepare ourselves to say yes to the Lord in whatever ways He may call.

It is important to notice as well that Mary’s yes’s to God did not stop at the Annunciation. She continued to trust in the Father and accept His will throughout the travel to Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, the loss of Christ in the temple, Jesus’ ministry as an itinerant rabbi, and all the way through Christ’s passion and death. She trusted and remained faithful throughout. Even in the most desperate of situations, she trusted that God would be faithful and would provide, drawing them through each situation as needed. Here too we see that God was worthy of that trust as He brought about the salvation of all through the life, passion, and resurrection of Christ.

We can take heart that as God was worthy of Mary’s trust and obedience, so He is worthy of our trust and obedience. As God drew her through the most desperate of situations, so too will God draw us through our life to the great good that He has in store for us and for the world through us. We look to Mary and find reassurance in our own efforts to grow in trust.  

Finally, we can look to Mary as the mother who cares for her children. She was given to the Church by Christ to be our mother. As with all great mothers, she loves and cares deeply for her children. She knows that following in her footsteps is not easy. She walked them first and knows how hard they were. Yet, in this she also knows the assistance and reassurance that we will need along the way. Turn to her often and ask for her aid as you seek to emulate her fidelity and trust.  

It is important for us to turn to Mary often throughout the whole of our life. Yet in this month of May and in this time of discernment, consider turning to her daily to offer the following prayer for vocations.

 

Prayer from the Tradition

 

Our Lady with the Child Jesus

Vocation Prayer to Mary, Mother of Sorrows
From the Holy Cross Directory of Devotional Prayer
 
Hail Mary, full of grace, all generations call you blessed.
 
Hail Mary, Mother of Sorrows,
upon hearing the prophecy of Simeon,
a sword pierced your heart.
Comfort those discerning God's call,
that to follow your Son as a Holy Cross priest, brother, or sister
is not just demanding, but joy-filled.
 
Hail Mary, Mother of Sorrows,
you made the journey to Egypt with Joseph
to ensure your Son's safety.
Give courage and perseverance to those
who find the journey of discernment unsettling.
Assure them that God will eventually lead them safely home.
 
Hail Mary, Mother of Sorrows,
you searched for your Son, Jesus, in the Temple.
Be with those who search for God's truth in their lives.
Lead them to the light of His will.
 
Hail Mary, Mother of Sorrows,
on the road to Calvary your eyes of compassion
lovingly looked upon your Son.
Turn your gentle gaze upon those contemplating His footsteps.
May they be inspired by the example and witness
of a "great band of men" in Holy Cross
who walk side by side in their following of the Lord.
 
Hail Mary, Mother of Sorrows,
at the foot of the Cross
you witnessed your Son's total giving of self to the Father.
Strengthen those who wish to abandon all in His holy name.
 
Hail Mary, Mother of Sorrows,
you lovingly embraced the lifeless body of your Son,
Jesus Christ, after His crucifixion.
Hold close to your heart those in the Congregation
whose vocations suffer from listlessness and apathy.
 
Hail Mary, Mother of Sorrows,
you were present when Jesus' body was laid in the tomb.
Encourage those discerning religious life in Holy Cross
to lay their fears at the feet of your Son,
confident in the hope and promise of new life.
 
Hail Mary, full of grace,
may future generations of Holy Cross religious call you blessed.
Amen.

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