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Virgin MaryFor Christmas my parents gave me Edward Sri‘s Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross.  It’s a great light read yet with some very deep thoughts upon which to contemplate even after the book has been put down.  It has been a great blessing for me to be able to put a lot of things going on in my life in perspective and to try to look at them the way Mary approached everything in her life.  You’ll note I said try as this is indeed a very long path and there are many obstacles and mis-steps along the way, but a book like this helps you take one step closer to getting there.

One of the ever-present temptations, at least in my life, to wander off or pull away from the path is a nasty combination of fear and difficulty in trusting God.  Though Mary certainly would have experienced all the sources of fear that just about any of us ever could, she never failed to trust God’s providence – particularly when it was not obvious how it would come to work out in the end.  Sometimes when the first chip falls it’s all together too easy to look up to heaven and wonder why God would let such a thing happen without also keeping in mind that whatever the reason He does it for our good in the end.

Mary’s example reminds us that no matter what may happen in our lives, we should always ask God what he might be trying to teach us through these crosses that come our way. Perhaps we have an opportunity to grow in patience or humility.  Or maybe God wants us to grow in greater trust or surrender of our own willfulness.  There will be suffering and heartache in this fallen world, but God can bring good from those difficult situations and use them to help us grow in certain ways that are for our spiritual development.  So the next time something frustrating or painful happens in our lives, instead of immediately pressing the panic button, adopting the “I’ve got to fix this right now” attitude, or complaining, we should pray and ask God what he is trying to teach us through these crosses.  We, like Mary, should keep all these things, pondering them in our hearts.

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