Written by: Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care

Traditionally, the month of May has been dedicated to honoring Mary. This month in this glorious season of growth is a perfect time to celebrate the beauty of the Mother of God. In Caryll Houselander’s book, The Reed of God, the author helps us to imagine what Mary must have experienced after the Annunciation: “Sometimes, when she sat down in the cottage doorway after her day’s work, she must have felt anew her amazement at the angel’s salutation and have asked her own soul: ‘How can this thing be?’ Could it be possible that this tiny little tunic that she was weaving was for God?”  The author goes on to examine how WE might respond to God’s presence in ourselves: “It is quite incredible to think that God is really present in me. This act of faith brings peace: it silences the noise of distraction, the loud business of fear. It is the stilling of the waters. It gathers our thoughts into a circle like a crown of flowers; it crowns us with peace.” Being crowned with peace is a beautiful image.

In May we remind ourselves that Mary is the Queen of Heaven and we place a crown of flowers on images of her in our spaces. We will have a May Crowning on Friday, May 10 after Mass where we will process from the Blessed Angela Chapel down to the statue of Mary near St. Mary’s Home. This ritual reminds us of the importance of Mary in our faith traditions.

The Felician Sisters of North America embrace the Marian element of Franciscan Spirituality. When the Sisters talk about Mary, they know that they are brining the presence of Christ into our lives through her. The Blessed Mother is nurturing, life-giving, and tender. Blessed Angela consecrated her congregation to Mary, the Mother of God. Ask the Sisters about their names and their original provinces all being named for Mary! Mary is a model for us, helping us to know that love often demands sacrifice, but that we can do that with the strength God gives us.

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