Mary and the month of May

Mary and the month of May

Thirty-five comments and counting in response to my last post. Read it and weep Joel Peart!

(I was always conscious that his guest-posts attracted more comments than my posts. Which he didn’t care about at all. Says more about a possible inferiority complex on my part, really.)

In all seriousness, I don’t really consider the 35 comments as a badge of honour. But it does salve my conscience. I may have been neglecting this blog in recent days, but others have ensured its activity.

The comment thread on priestly celibacy has raised some interesting points and made some surprising turns, which I will engage. But not tonight. Tonight, I want to consider a much more amiable subject: Mary and the month of May.

The first day of our Lady’s month also happens to be the feast of St Joseph the Worker. I’m sure this is very appropriate from Mary’s point of view. I imagine she would much prefer to see her dear husband, who was the love of her life, honoured in place of her.

But it’s also very appropriate from our point of view. If we want to do something special for our Lady in May, then there’s surely no better example to follow than Joseph’s.

There may be a temptation — it’s one of mine, anyway — to make grand promises in honour of our Lady. “This May, I’m going to pray all four parts of the rosary, every day. Twenty decades, every day!”

Uh huh. I bet the enemy rubbed his hands in glee when I made that sort of resolution. The ensuing discouragement was a fait accompli. And maybe even Mary herself rolled her eyes at me (while appreciating the thought I’d like to think).

But Mary is our mother, and we can approach her like small children. There’s no need to “think big.” The modest gestures of affection from small children invariably delight grown ups. Especially mothers.

My plan this May is to place a fresh flower in front of an image of our Lady every morning. (No surprises, though, if I falter even in this small duty.) And in the evening, I’ll try to ponder one of the mysteries of the rosary. Just for 60 seconds. Barely long enough to imagine the sights and sounds of the scene.

And for inspiration, I’ll look to St Joseph. He, more than any other saint I think, exemplifies holiness by way of the ordinary duties of every day. He did nothing very remarkable. He was a faithful husband and father, a “mere carpenter” who lived a quiet life but lived it well. Entirely in the service of the Lord.

We don’t have to sanctify ourselves on our knees, in a church, away from the world. We can sanctify ourselves in the midst of our daily life — on the street, in our work, between phone calls.

Not that I’m picking the flowers to sanctify myself. I just want to do something for my Blessed Mother. Without forgetting Mum this Mothers’ Day, of course!