There is a beautiful Marian Shrine in the town where I live dedicated to Our Lady of LaLeche.
This image of Our Lady depicts Mary tenderly nursing the Infant Jesus on her lap. The devotion to this "Nursing Mother of Happy Delivery" was brought over by the Spanish settlers who wanted to consecrate the first diocese in America to our Lady's patronage.
Many individuals and couples from all over the country come to this Shrine to ask Mary to intercede for them to be able to conceive a baby, to experience a healthy pregnancy and delivery, to receive comfort after miscarriage, and to offer prayers for all things related to birth, children, relationships, and healing.
The woman in today's Gospel acknowledges Jesus' mother as she cries out,
"Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed" (Luke 11:27).
I can't help but think of the image of Our Lady of LaLeche, she who invites us to contemplate the hidden joys and challenges she must have experienced during her pregnancy and delivery, as well as all the human and intimate experiences including breastfeeding Baby Jesus.
"Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it," Jesus responds to the woman in Luke 11:28.
Jesus' Mother Mary is literally the queen of hearing and observing the Word of God. She so fully receives the Word of God that He is incarnated within her. Mary is the Queen Mother who embodies femininity and active receptivity perfectly. Her whole life is an active reception of hearing and observing God's Word, Jesus Himself.
Perhaps today we can look to Mary as our Mother and come into a greater posture of openness, receptivity, and action in our response of faith towards God.
Let us ask Mary, Our Lady of LaLeche, to teach us to better embody our femininity and to imitate her active receptivity to listen and live out the special purpose God has given to each one of us.
Have you seen these ten quotes on the feminine genius?
Mary Catherine Craige enjoys spending her free time dancing, writing, playing the Irish harp and surfing the ocean waves of northeast Florida. As a transformational life coach, she supports women like you to create beauty out of challenging circumstances and to design a life of abundance, freedom and joy as the person God has created you to be. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up and our Advent devotional book, All the Generations. You can find out more about her here.