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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

Why do I have this head of Jesus when it is a feast of the Holy Name of Mary? It is because I am still praying over yesterday's Gospel when Jesus, after spending the whole night in prayer to God, called his disciples and chose twelve of them, "whom he also named apostles". Then come the twelve names.
I guess I connected this naming of the apostles with the holy name of Mary. I have an old dictionary that I keep partly because my sister gave it to me years ago, but mostly for the section at the end on names. It gives 2,000 names and their meanings. Mary, because of Miriam, was a popular name with Hebrews and so some scholars think that it may be related to the Egyptian word for beloved. I like that. Mary was beloved by God. My dictionary gives "bitterness" but associated with healing. I like Beloved better.

To return to my morning prayer, I am always impressed by the fact that Jesus spent the night in prayer before naming the twelve apostles. He prepared with care and prayer to make this important decision. How do I make decisions? Do I take the time to really talk to God about my choices?

One more thought for the day: I need to pray out of the very roots of my life and my being! This conviction comes from reading a quote from Thomas Merton who said that when he was still only sixteen and in Rome, he prayed "not with my lips and with my intellect and imagination, but praying out of the very roots of my life and of my being, and praying to the God I had never known."

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