I converted from Protestantism to Catholicism at the age of sixteen. Like many converts, my understanding of Mary was limited and even slightly misinformed. Gradually, over the years, I have begun to discover the dynamic identity of our Blessed Mother and the essential role that she plays in the Church.
Discovering Mary’s Heart
Through prayer, meditating on the Rosary, and studying Scripture, the Lord has shown me many faces of Mary. I have come to know her as a gracious advocate, a pillar of mercy, an intrepid pioneer, a beacon of hope, a vessel of love.
Discovering these identity of Mary not only leads to a better understanding of the Heart of Our Father, but it also grants us access to an abundant, steadfast relationship with our Blessed Mother.
Have you, too, struggled to walk in relationship with Mary? Do you find it difficult to relate to her? Have you felt the pull to explore her identity but aren’t sure how to start? Here are some small, practical ways to dive deeper into our Blessed Mother’s heart.
Pray the Hail Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
This final prayer of the Rosary is full of proclamations of Mary’s identity and reveals an essential part of her heart. She is our gracious, merciful advocate.
Allow yourself to rest in the comfort of Mary’s advocacy. You are not toiling through life alone. The Lord has offered Mary to be your champion, your supporter, your aid. Turn to her in moments of struggle. Ask her to intercede for you. Come to know and rest in the heart of your unrivaled advocate through this divine prayer.
Pray the Memorarae
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
An earnest request for Mary’s intercession, this prayer invites us to rely on our Blessed Mother’s constancy.
Mary will not leave you orphaned, she will not abandon you. Cast all of your intentions to her and ponder the face and heart of a merciful Mother who always listens and desires to carry your burdens to the Father.
Meditate on Mary’s Fiat
Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done unto me according to thy word. (Luke 1:38)
These words are known as Mary’s fiat, or her consent to become the mother of our savior. Meditating on Mary’s audacious “yes” to mothering Jesus invites us into a deeper understanding of the pure and sacrificial nature of her heart.
Through her fiat, Mary gives us an example of how to love Our Father. She gives us encouragement to be brave in the face of the unknown, to be meek and humble, and to trust in the Lord’s plan.
Allow Mary’s “yes” to inspire you to listen to the Lord’s calling for your life. Grant her the space to reconstruct the priorities of your heart. Rest in her sacrifice.
Showcase Mary in your Home
Consider doing one of the following as a reminder that Mary’s presence is abiding.
Place a statue of the Holy Family in your home to help you remember that Mary plays a vital role in the fulfillment of our salvation.
Write the words, “Mary, lend me your heart” on a sticky note and place it on your desk or in your planner as a signal that our Blessed Mother’s heart is always accessible.
Drape a Rosary over your Bible as a reminder of the protection that Mary’s mantle offers us.
Hang magnets on your refrigerator of the Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, or any depiction of her countless apparitions to help you remember that Mary is a miracle worker, and she will meet you where you are.
Take the Leap
Mary is a deep well that will not run dry. She is a powerhouse. A pillar of our faith. Be intentional and persistent in discovering her heart. Walk in relationship with her, seek her face, and allow her gracious heart to transform you.
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Mercedes Shirts works as a sixth grade teacher in Idaho. When not indulging in a good read and black coffee, she enjoys cooking, traveling with her husband and working in her garden. You can find out more about her here.