By Allison Gingras
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked,
nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
but delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night ~ Psalm 1:1-2
We never see the Blessed Mother whisper a complaint or hint at her peace loss in the Scriptures. She ponders all things in her heart and remains both faithful and joyful. What secret could Mary possibly possess that we could learn from, especially in difficult or trying times? Mary knew, believed, and “delighted in the law of the LORDand meditates on his law day and night” (Psalm 1:2).
The Psalms is a collection of prayers that offers the faithful countless strategies for restoring and retaining hope, peace, joy, and trust. Each word draws us into praise and worship of a loving, ever-present God. There is no situation encountered in one’s life where the Psalms cannot offer a troubled heart peace.
Mary heard and remembered these sacred words to draw from when faced with impossible or frightening choices and experiencing suffering beyond imagination. Her peace is never lost, perhaps because she not only memorized the words, but she allowed these words to dwell within her.
Then, the most extraordinary occurred. The Word became flesh and dwelt, not just among us but also within her. Mary was privileged and blessed beyond all women to carry the Incarnate Lord, to present him to the world. She heard not only his first words but listened attentively to every word he spoke in her presence, holding each precious syllable in her heart. She is the first disciple and the greatest model of how to follow her Son.
The Gospels are the perfect companion to reading the Psalms for comfort in difficult times. In the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the faithful discover another secret to Mary’s peace. Jesus teaches, corrects, encourages, and guides all souls toward Heaven. The hope of Heaven, the words of eternal life which only Jesus can offer, instill a joy that no circumstance in this life can shake. Although there were many moments, especially during Jesus’ crucifixion, which brought anguish and sorrow to her Immaculate Heart, yet filled with grace, no circumstance around her ever stole her joy.
Joy shines far beyond the absence of worldly troubles. It is the knowledge of God’s unfathomable, unbreakable love for us. The promise God, our Father, will never abandon or forsake His children. Furthermore, Jesus has gone to prepare a room for each of us in our Father’s house. A place, the Gospel’s assure us, Jesus himself will come back to bring us to (John 14). Jesus is the way to the Father.
Mary pondered every word that came from the mouth of God in her heart. These words directed her actions and her reactions to the world around her. Therefore nothing could destroy the peace, hope, and joy she held in her heart as well. “Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven” (Luke 6:23). When we seek consolation through the Scriptures, especially through a daily devotional habit, we can develop, like Mary, a heart which nothing can disturb.
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