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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mary's Greatness

In his first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est" the Holy Father tells us that when Mary exclaims, "My soul magnifies the Lord", she is giving us a program for life. She does not set herself at the center, but has space for God, who is encountered both in prayer and in service of others. Mary's greatness is just this, she desires only to magnify the Lord. Her whole being rejoices in the Lord. She was a woman of faith, of hope, and a woman who loves. Her love for us is constant and true. During this month we honor her in a special way as she is the one who leads us to Jesus.

I have found this year that saying the rosary aloud as I drive the 25 miles to the University and then again the 25 miles home in evening traffic, is something that keeps me peaceful. I do it as a mark of love, but I find it has a real influence on my whole approach to the day in the morning and definitely keeps me relaxed on the way home. Anyone who knows Miami drivers will recognize that the gift of peacefulness amid the chaos is truly a great blessing. I wonder why it took me so long to discover that praying the rosary in the car would be so helpful. I do always try to start any drive by saying the Memorare, my favorite prayer to Our Lady. For those who may not know this wonderful prayer, I will add it here but from memory:

O most gracious Virgin Mary, never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother. To you I come; before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

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