Tuesday, December 4, 2007

For Love of Mary-A Personal Testimony

As most are aware I was not raised in a religious environment. I experienced a conversion to Christianity when I was 30 years old from which I was baptized into the Lutheran Church.

I loved the Lutheran Church and joined several bible studies and prayer devotional groups. The Lutheran people were wonderful to me and accepted me into their homes and their hearts.

Why then did I leave?

It was during a Christmas service when our Pastor gave his sermon. He said to paraphrase, 'Mary was just an ordinary young girl who God happened to choose to bear His Son. Any woman here could also have been chosen.'

For some reason this particular sermon did not sit well with me. How could any of us think that we could carry Jesus within our bodies? Weak, frail and sinful as we are? It simply did not make sense.

I tried to speak to the Pastor about my concerns but he did not take much notice, but I could not let it go. There was something special about Mary. I had to find out what.

The following week I went to the only catholic book shop in Adelaide and bought almost every book I could find on Mary. I read descriptions where authors alluded to the Ark of the Covenant and how Mary was described as the Ark of the New Covenant, now this made sense.

I read strange words like 'Immaculate Conception' and that Mary was the new Eve. More strange words also came to the forefront like 'Eucharist', which then had me buying books on the Eucharist.

I read books where authors said that Mary was sinless and that God had performed this miracle in the womb of her own Mother, St. Anne, rather than confuse me it made perfect sense.

In order for Mary to carry Jesus within her womb she HAD to be sinless for as I have said, the Divine cannot co-exist with corruption.

Through this journey I also knew that Mary was indeed like us. A normal woman who cared for her family and tended to their needs but unlike us, Mary did the Will of the Father perfectly.

I was beginning to love this woman. This perfect and most wondrous lady called, Mary.

Then I read about the Cross and how the Mother of God beheld her Son, bloodied, spittle mixed with sweat dripping from Him. Naked and humiliated. This was her beloved Son, this was her God, who hung from a Cross.

I began to understand what love is.

I understood Mary's love for each of us. Yes! We are also her children. I finally understood that Mary gave her Fiat not just to God but for all of us who are in need of Salvation.

Mary was no human incubator. Mary was God's JOY.

When you love Mary you do not love Jesus less, if anything one learns to love Jesus more because Mary points to her Son, 'do what He tells you.'

The love I have for this most beautiful of women fail me. I cannot describe in words the greatness of this most Holy Woman, a woman who brings JOY to God's Heart.

All I can say is the more I learnt about Mary the more I loved her. This most wondrous Mother has my heart. How could anyone not love the Mother of God?

I spent a year discerning where God wished me to be, but I knew I was being called into the Catholic Church.

By leaving the Lutheran Church I upset many of my friends who felt betrayed. Some came to me and tried to instill fear by saying the Pope is the Anti-Christ.

I did not argue with them. I knew the Truth. It is true when the Word says, 'The Truth shall set you free.'

Many of my Lutheran friends did not speak to me for more than ten years. I understood the pain they felt, and that they considered me a traitor. I understood but I did not turn back.

Though my journey into the Catholic Church was painful, still I did not turn back. I understood to turn back meant leaving behind Our Blessed Mother and the Sacraments of the One True Church.

Our Lady not only stole my heart, she saved it.

My heart overflows with love for Mother Church, for the Sacraments which give us life and for Mary who gave us..Christ.

How can one not love this most beautiful of Mothers? You tell me? Does Mary have your heart?