Mary Leads in Prayer
Mary from the beginning was a woman who inherently embraced prayer as a way of life, it was not a ritual for her, but was the cornerstone of her life, for she nourished prayer as she had nourished her Son.
This would have been a part of their lives from the beginning, and it would have been as a family that they would have prayed together, Mary, her husband Joseph, and the young Jesus.
And even though Mary would have turned even her work into a prayer, still she knew the importance of a spirit of solitude when praying to our Heavenly Father, for one needs to have these solitary moments in order to be replenished. So Mary from the beginning would have needed to spend time alone with God, as did Jesus during his Ministry, perhaps he learned this at his Mothers knee.
This would also have shown a great example to all those who followed Jesus, for the prayer life of Jesus and Mary went beyond keeping the Law and instead focused who was at the centre of their lives, which was their Father in Heaven. So, through the example of them both many would have seen that neither Jesus nor Mary allowed themselves to be enchained by the Law, but neither did they break it. Instead they fulfilled it by making God the centre of their lives and existence.
So even thought this most Holy of families always observed the Law, they were not enslaved by it but instead fostered relationship over and above rituals, for even though the rituals of their Faith had its place it was not a substitute for a relationship with God. They understood that God does not seek outside observances, but instead He sought to be the centre of their lives, and indeed He was. For Mary understood perfectly that God does not need rituals to be enforced, but He calls all into relationship with Him, and through Jesus we see the face of God.
Jesus through observing Mary and Joseph would have also understood that God is to be at the centre of one's life, hence His need from the beginning to be alone with His Father in Heaven. Even unto staying in the Temple where his wisdom amazed and astonished all who listened to him, from one so young.
So through Jesus public Ministry the Apostles and all of those who followed Jesus would have observed the centrality of both Jesus and Mary's prayer life, and a growing understanding would have illuminated their minds as to the importance of combining prayer into all their activities.
This would have been a revolutionary concept to the Apostles and Jesus friends, who though they observed the Law, had little concept of a relationship with their Father in Heaven. Some may have even felt excluded from God's Presence because of the confinements of these Law's, which instead of freeing their spirits, instead burdened it with rituals and rites over relationship!
I am sure Mary shared many of her experiences with these friends of her beloved son, and also through her example, many also would have wondered at the level and depth of her prayer life and her love for God.
This would have led to these very same friends of Jesus to also long to have what Mary had in abundance, a deep and prayerful love for the Father. And through the examples of both Jesus and Mary these Apostles and followers would also foster their prayer life in a longing to be close to their Father in Heaven.
And though Mary nourished her prayer life, even if at times she did not always understand the Will of God, yet she was obedient to Him. For Mary understood that one must always trust in God, in the midst of life and also in the midst of confusion, for Mary also pondered the words spoken by Simeon,"and a sword shall pierce your own soul too."
Peace of Christ to you ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.