The summer before my senior year of college, I knew the man I was supposed to marry. It was confirmed pretty clearly to me through our 2 ½ years of dating. Yet, that August I found myself perpetually teary eyed and emotional over our break-up that I “so didn’t see coming.”
I would be remiss to open the theme of this week without explaining to you how Our Lady penetrated my longing with her love and example: The day Robbie and I broke up it was over the phone – a downfall of long distance dating – and we sat for a long time in silence, a most heart wrenching silence.
And, when the time came to hang up the phone, my reaction was immediate (yet, unrehearsed), I looked at the simple Franciscan cross I had hanging in my room and through my sobbing demeanor, I offered everything to our Lord. He “raised” me His cross and I gave Him my miniscule suffering in return.
And, it was in that moment that Our Lady’s humanity came to life in a whole new way. My longing for this man mirrored (in a very small way) Mary’s longing for her son. Mary became that wise mom who could relate to my suffering, and she was the one to take me by the hand and lead me through that dark period of my life.
As Jesus offered His mother to John at the foot of His cross so, too, did He offer her to me. You see, it is in these moments of longing, of discontent, of fear and frustration that put us on our knees. That remind us of just how human we are, and just how badly we need Our Lord. And, it is Mary who constantly leads us back to Him.
This Advent, it is going to be easy to forget that it is indeed Advent, but just as we remember Jesus’ great suffering before His Resurrection, we too remember the great longing of the Israelites before the birth of the Messiah.
This Advent, I pray that you experience longing. I pray that you want. I pray that all you desire is given as an offering to our most Blessed Lord as Mary offered her Son at the foot of His cross. And, when Christmas comes, I pray that the longing you’ve experienced turns to great joy.
For, He indeed has come. And, He has come to bring peace to our weary little souls.
1. When in your life do you experience longing?
2. What is your relationship like with Mary? What do you love about her? What
don’t you understand about her?
3. What makes it difficult to embrace your longing? How might you better
embrace your longing better this Advent?
(A small note – You’ll be happy to hear that Robbie and I were married a little over a
year later. I attribute so much of our relationship to that moment in which I chose to
hand the Lord everything.)
This year's study journal is broken into 4 parts.
To view each, please scroll to the middle of the above link.