Church of the Visitation, Israel
Photo: Marge Fenelon

As I was preparing for my surgery several months ago, a wise priest-friend told me, “Mary will come to you in so many ways. You’ll see!”

At the time, I understood what he was telling me, but I was too self-absorbed to pay attention.

It wasn’t until months later when I had made time to pause and reflect, that I saw how right my priest-friend had been. Mary had indeed come to me in so many ways. Mostly, it was in the little things – kindnesses done to me, sudden inspirations that seemed to have come out of nowhere, the calming of my heart as I prayed the Rosary, and the graces that gave me the strength to keep going even when things got really, really tough. There were big ways, too – victories in my recovery process, spiritual experiences when I visited Marian shrines, and opportunities and breakthroughs that came as a result of her motherly intercession.

I’m grateful for these, but I’m sad to say that I missed them the first time around. I only recognized them when I took the time to review and hunt for them. I’d dare to say that most of us are like that. In fact, I still slip into that narrow-sighted pattern from time to time. We move along at our own pace, and in our own way, and locked in our own mindset of self-absorption.

Mary does come to us, however. She comes to us every day, will day long, and in so many ways each day. She visits us in our homes, our cars, workplaces, schools, even at the gym, library, or grocery store. She comes to visit us wherever we are and whatever we’re doing. She is there, even when we don’t notice her, interceding for us before her Son and distributing abundant graces to us. For the most part, she’s very quiet about it. That’s probably why we tend not to notice her.

Unless, of course, we make the time to look for her.

On this Feast of the Visitation, perhaps we can make it a point to be vigilant about Mary’s approach and how she touches our lives. As she visited her cousin Elizabeth, she visits us, bearing in her womb her Son, Jesus.

Open your eyes and heart. Mary will come to you in so many ways. You’ll see!


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