Our Lady of the Overgrowth

17 Aug

Yard work is not my thing.

We have a statue of Mary in front of our house, and she’s engulfed with weeds. Rather than sit here and write about it, I should get out there and clear up the environs.

Yes, yes, in time. But first, an observation.

On the Feast of the Assumption, Pope Francis spoke of spiritual warfare and Our Lady’s solidarity and solicitude. She’s really on our side, and all we need do is avail ourselves of her help. He said, “The Mother of Christ and of the Church is always with us. She walks with us always, she is with us.”

From the Cross, Christ gave her to us, and we to her, and now she’s at His side in heaven (what the Assumption is all about), so she has his ear. It’s so easy to forget—like she’s lost in the weeds. We know she’s there, but out of sight, out of mind I guess.

It’s comforting to know that she’s there all the same—waiting, watching, ready to come to our aid. She’s our Mother, after all, and like any earthly mother, she can’t wait for our call and our request for aid. She wants to help—a pleasant thought as I drive past the front of my house every day, and reflect on the Blessed Mother’s near eclipse in the brush and brambles.

Our earthy papa knows all this already. The Pope knows that we are typical children that love their mother, yet neglect her. His scolding, however, is gentle, and he coaxes rather than condemns. “The Rosary sustains us in the battle,” he said at one point on Thursday. “Do you pray the Rosary every day? But I’m not sure you do … Really?”

I scan those words, I recall similar exhortations from Monsignor’s Assumption Day homily, I look at the Rosary dangling from my dashboard, and I pick it up. Not a whole Rosary, mind you—I think I got through a couple decades before I arrived at my destination. No matter. It’s the most Rosary I’ve prayed in a long time.

And Mary doesn’t care really. She’s delighted by every act of devotion, every affectionate gesture that we make. But why the Rosary? My Protestant students often express their puzzlement: Why the repetition and rote recitation? What good is it?

It’s good because it pleases her. She likes it—just like a mom likes flowers and a card and some extra attention on Mother’s Day. If you didn’t do those things, would your mom love you less? Would she refuse to help you if you asked? I doubt it. But would you be a cad if you could do those things, and didn’t?

W.C. Fields once said, “Now don’t say you can’t swear off drinking; it’s easy. I’ve done it a thousand times.” Same with the daily Rosary: It’s easy to do—I’ve initiated the practice a thousand times. Looks like it’s going to be a thousand and one.

Oh, and the weeds? I’ll get to them in a bit…after I say my prayers.
_____________________________

A version of this essay appeared on Catholic Exchange.

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4 Responses to “Our Lady of the Overgrowth”

  1. Nancy August 18, 2013 at 7:41 am #

    Rick, you could always do the rosary while you work.. 😉

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