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Gentle woman, tower of strength, beacon of faith, humble servant...O, highly favored daughter!

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - One of my favorite things about being Catholic (there are many) is enjoying a rich and blessed friendship with Mary. This time of year that friendship is particularly sweet. Contemplating the endless ways Mary leads my heart to Jesus is in itself a feast for the mind and soul.

Today, though, I was thinking how strange it is that Mary is the source of so much contention and strife between Catholics and Protestants. How is it that arguably the most faithful, obedient, trusting and loving follower of Christ ever can be such a lightening rod of controversy? What Christian wouldn't want to follow her example?

Can any of us say we would have the faith and courage to do what she did?

Would you?

Would I?

She obeyed at the risk of her own life. Joseph had the legal right to have her stoned to death and she knew it. It's not as though Gabriel told her, "Don't worry about Joseph's reaction. I'm going to explain everything to him."

Her instinct to obey the Lord was stronger than any instinct for self-preservation. From the word "Go" she was only interested in doing God's will completely. The cost did not matter.

Later, she did something much, much harder than risking her own life. She witnessed her son's execution. She did it without losing her faith, without ever breaking trust with God.

Now, I'm not a physically imposing woman. Okay, I'm a total wimp. I probably couldn't punch my way out of a paper bag. But I assure you, if you threaten one of my children, I'll take you out with my bare hands. Period. Now you've made Mama Bear angry, and you're in trouble.

But Mary, so full of grace, walked every inch of the road to Calvary with Jesus and stood at the foot of His cross. She listened to the cursing, hateful, vile wickedness being spewed at Jesus from his murderers (that would be me), and never intervened to stop it. Can you even imagine that? As a mother, could you watch and do nothing while someone brutally killed your child even if you knew it would save someone else? ( Someone who didn't deserve it!)

She quietly restrained herself and trusted God to accomplish His plan. She squelched the mother's instinct to protect her child, the urge to trample those who hurt her baby out of perfect obedience, humility and TRUST. She knew God, knew He was faithful and knew she wanted to cooperate with His will.

If that's not a perfect example of loving and serving God with all your heart, soul,and strength, then I don't know what is.

How amazingly wonderful it is to have such a woman for a friend...a blessed mother...the Blessed Mother. Gentle woman, tower of strength, beacon of faith, humble servant...O, highly favored daughter!

Now I pray that God will enable me to grow in grace and follow her example...

"I am the handmaid of the Lord...Let it be done to me according to your word."


Jennifer Hartline is a Catholic Army wife and stay-at-home mother of three precious kids who writes frequently on topics of Catholic faith and daily living.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



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1 - 10 of 16 Comments

  1. Barbara
    6 years ago

    Thank you for taking the time to write about Mary, the Mother of God. I enjoyed your writing and am inspired to write this to you to encourage you to write some more. As Catholics we must try to continue to keep Mary in the place that she deserves, as the Mother of God, as the human who gladly answered the call. Many would ask why we pray to her as she is not God, but they do not understand the prayers to intercede to God on our behalf. Please continue to serve God with your writings, I really was not only inspired, but entertained. God bless you.

  2. Fr. August Busch
    6 years ago

    Jennifer...Many thanks for your wonderful and inspiring article on Mary, Mother of God. Your "human consideration" of Mary as the Mother of the Christ God adds some "flesh and blood" to the "cold" theological truths annunciated by the Council of Nicea and Ephesis which proclaimed Christ as God and Mary's relation to Christ and to God. Hopefully your "human consideration of Mary as the Mother of the Christ will inspire people to better realize who and what Mary did when she willingly consented to God's will for her life. We pray that people will re-focus their lives to the Christ God and Mary.

  3. Joshua
    6 years ago

    I am a lost soul that is trying to find my way back home, and I just wanted to let you know Mrs. Jennifer that your words about our Blessed Mother have given me a True understanding of the sword that pierced her heart. Thank you.

  4. Matt Federoff
    6 years ago

    It was a little tough to find...left and right and all....but worth it. Woo hoo, Jen! Good stuff. Congratulations. I hope it leads to more opportunities for you to write.

  5. Rebecca
    6 years ago

    Jennifer--what a wonderful article!! It takes me back to remembering the RCIA class on the importance of Mary, our Mother where I decided to convert rather than to simply prepare for a marriage blessing!! May God continue to bless you and your family!

  6. Jane Neussendorfer
    6 years ago

    Jennie, your deep spirituality is an inspiration to me. I always knew that you had a special gift and now you are sharing it with the world. I am so proud of you. Please keep sharing with all of us the giftedness that God has given to you to share with others. Our world so much needs to be in touch with God in our everyday lives. Thank you for sharing your inner strength with us. Let God's light continue to shine through you. Love you much, Aunt Jane

  7. Saundra
    6 years ago

    My friend Theresa sent this link to me and I must "beautifully written".

  8. Peggy Swank
    6 years ago

    Thank you for writing. As I read, I was brought back to memory of the prayers of tears that ran down my cheeks as the choir sang Gentle Woman this special Feast Day. Your article brought me back to this most True, Good and Beautiful Gift, this Mother of All that the Dear Father of all gave to us.

    Thanks for writing the truth so simply.

  9. David Dick
    6 years ago

    Great words and perspective Jennie! Blessings to you.

  10. The Rev GDV Wiebe
    6 years ago

    Mary shows us the way to deification-e.g. sanctity/union with God. As we approach the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe this article takes on a new &deeper dimension. Blessings on you Jennifer!

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