Yesterday, December 8, the Church celebrated a great solemnity: The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I am not sure why I chose this particular depiction of Mary (as there are many beautiful ones), other than a feeling of gratitude for the pain she suffered because of her willing "fiat" (her "yes" to God's plan). Though she was divinely chosen by God to bear His Son, she was a human, a mother, and a woman who did not escape suffering.
As a convert to the Church, Mary's place in Catholicism has been somewhat difficult for me. It was my final (and longest-lasting) stumbling block to entering the Church. As a former Protestant, I had a great fear of what we had been taught was Marian idolatry. I didn't want any devotion to the Blessed Mother to fall into that category.
Despite my resistance, I have been drawn to her through the years in sweet ways. The more I release myself to her goodness, the more she gently leads this stubborn child on a path toward holiness and reveals ways to please her Son.
Yesterday, on the day of her solemnity, her intercession wrought a miracle in my heart. While I sat at Mass, a sin was brought to light in my heart and a great burden winged its way to Heaven. It is amazing what happens in the spiritual realm when truth is exposed. The ripples from this have already revealed wonderful beauty.
Thank you, dear Blessed Virgin Mary. Thank you for your patience with my doubts; thank you for drawing me close to you.