Updated: Jan 6
Cassidy V. Blenke, FAITH Board Member & Founder at arcadiamktg.com
Before finding the Catholic faith, Mary appeared throughout my life, slowly introducing herself to me as if to say, “I’m here waiting for you when you’re ready.” I recall watching one movie character describe her relationship with Mary as “an aunt I never had but always wanted” when she discovered a newfound kinship and source of strength from Mary after she had fallen away from her faith many years prior.
Growing up with no formalized spirituality or religion, I had a preconceived notion of who Mary was from history, books, movies, and friends, and gathered she was a strong maternal figure who represented unconditional love. I admired the beautiful saint necklaces people wore around their necks, the Mary statues on the lawns of families and local churches, and the comfort people seemed to find in this timeless and sanctified woman who birthed the holiest man in history.
As I began my journey in Catholicism, I chose Mary as my saint during confirmation because I felt she was the woman I aimed to be, a woman filled with faith, unconditional love, devotion, strength, and perseverance. I grasped onto the idea that this Blessed Mary was the ultimate representation of what it means to be a strong woman and that she could guide me on the road to faith, marriage, motherhood, and beyond alongside her son Jesus.
Life’s sometimes stagnant and rollercoaster trajectory has sent me seeking immediate solutions of solace through idolized mainstream influencers and stars, caught up in the materialized media glamour, where I mindlessly scroll through online feeds looking for visibly loud answers, and I am almost always left with a hallow-hearted emptiness. Soon enough, the holy spirit taps me on the shoulder and fills me with a longing for something real, and faith begins to pull me back.
I recall a particular moment where I found myself lost in the beautiful chaos of motherhood, looking around, thinking to myself, “How did I get to this point of not even realizing how happy I am being a mother and surrendering to the love of my children and family?” Those same distractions of immediate gratification and the fast-paced lifestyle I had been so accustomed to clouded my inner peace and this moment of realization caught me completely off guard. I began to clearly see that I had failed to realize the true happiness I was experiencing and finally surrendered to the overwhelming love of God, children, and family.
Mary did surrender from the beginning and embraced the calling of motherhood, fully accepting her future when told she was to bear the son of God despite her humble roots.
“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word,” Mary declares to the angel of the Lord (Luke 1:37–38)
The love of Mary continues to fill me through the kinship of other mothers, the guiding statues where I light candles in church, and the maternal calling in my soul that is now undeniable. As we push forward in each of our life expeditions, I challenge us to remember to look backward to the Saints and the humble yet mighty self-sacrificing heroes who lead by example, giving their lives to a higher purpose. After all, God, Jesus, and the Saints are gentle reminders to turn inward and upward in this turbulent and ever-changing world of ours.
For additional material regarding Mary and walking with Mary, please reference the following:
● Prayerfully Expecting / Pregnancy / Motherhood
● The Greatest Woman Ever - Word on Fire / Bishop Barron
Image credit: Unsplash / Laura Allen