Skip to main content

Mary, Undoer of Knots Keeps Following Me Around

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us!
About 8 years ago, a few friends and I were in Minneapolis for a Catholic teachers' conference. My friend Amy and I found ourselves wandering, on a free afternoon, to a large and rather dusty Catholic book store.

The first thing that greeted us was a life-size statue of Mary. It was from Spain, and would have been quite lovely, were it not for the fact that the glass eyes were, well, cross-eyed. I whispered (yes, I know it wasn't nice), "Our Lady of Glaucoma?" and our adventure began.

It was clear that the bookstore had virtually no organization - or none that we could discern - and all of its stock was out for browsing. First Communion gifts were nestled next to priests' collars, books of all sorts were scattered about the store, and items were stocked two stories high.

The office was apparently upstairs, and occasionally, a woman's voice would yell out orders to the man working below. He shrugged in our general direction after one outburst from above: "My sister," he said.

Amy and I (both wholehearted Catholic geeks) were happy to wander about, seeing what treasures we could uncover. Near the back of the store, hanging 10 or 12 feet above the floor was a large picture of Mary. She was holding a ribbon, which flowed about her and the angels at her feet. Neither of us had ever seen this representation of Our Blessed Mother, and we hunted about for some sort of explanation. We finally found it: Mary, Undoer of Knots.

In our combined 90 years or so of Catholic life, neither of us had seen this. But from that point on, Mary, Undoer of Knots started following me around.

I got a prayer card from a nun. A friend of mine on Facebook asked me to "like" a page devoted to this particular devotion. Pope Francis has written a prayer devoted to her. She just keeps showing up.

When Mary keeps showing up in your life, you ought to pay attention. So now, I have a particular devotion to this rather mysterious depiction of Mary. It makes perfect sense though: who better than your Mother to help you untangle your life, your issues, your mistakes, your struggles? Then, with that ribbon of your life smoothed out, you can go before Her Son, Our King.


I run to You, Mary, Undoer of Knots, because I trust you and I know that you never despise a sinning child who comes to ask you for help. I believe that you can undo this knot because Jesus grants you everything. I believe that you want to undo this knot because you are my Mother.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…