June 7: Queen of All Saints, Mother of the Church
If you are visiting for the first time, from the Angels and Saints Book Tour, welcome!
But I feel it prudent to warn you, that you may be expecting too much. As the culmination of this blog book tour finds itself in the final chapter of Scott Hahn's newest publication, which he prefaces "Every paragraph and every page of this book has been drawing us to this chapter," I fear I am doomed to disappoint.
Mary. Ever sinless. Ever spotless. Our Lady. Queen of All Saints. Mother of the Church.
Who am I to write about this most clement, most loving, most sweet Virgin Mary? I am just "the infertile" of the Catholic blog lineup. Finding a connection to this most holy of Saints seemed not only daunting, but frankly, impossible from the moment I was first assigned this chapter.
As I read the book from the beginning, I found myself connecting with each of the the other Angels and Saints: Michael, the Archangel, Holy Moses, St Paul, St Ignatius of Antioch, St Iraneus of Lyons, St Jerome, St Monica and Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, St Therese, St Maximilian Kolbe, and St Josemaria Escriva. With each chapter, I learned something new, something inspiring, from each of these holy men and women (and angels), and was able to identify with a small part, or a large piece of their story. I yearned to emulate them as I read through each chapter, cherishing St Maximilian Kolbe's zeal in accepting both crowns of sacrifice for Mary and the Church, discovering the powerful and hidden prayer life of Moses, relishing in St Augustine's thirst for knowledge and understanding - they all showed me something about myself that I needed to nurture in order to continue on my own spiritual path.
But I turned to that final chapter in trepidation.
I think I believed I would be immersed in a language of Our Lady with which I was already familiar, a poetry of her virtues upon which I've come to reflect every year through Total Consecration, a meditation of her holiness that seemed, no matter how much I prayed, so unattainable.
I was wrong.
Instead, now fed and sustained with the fruits of the previous chapters, I was met with this:
"Think, for a moment, about the fact that you have been 'saved.' And what is your salvation? ... Jesus has given his life to be your own... He has given you his home, heaven... He has invited you to eat from his table. He has given you his Father to be your Father. And he has given his mother to be your mother!
To be saved is to be given sainthood as a grace. 'You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God' (1 Corinthians 6:11). To live most authentically- to be most truly yourself- is to correspond to that grace at every moment of every day.
That's what it means to be holy." (Emphasis added.)
I discovered, with the masterful eloquence of Scott Hahn's rhetoric, and his skillful theological stepping stones, that there was a much more purposeful reason to save this chapter as his last than simply to end with a bang. He had been preparing me to receive it, since page one. He had been building my spiritual strength, igniting the gifts of the Holy Spirit that were sleeping in me, and readying my mind and soul to begin to see and honor My Mother in a new light - a light that both shone from above, and from within.
Suddenly, this childless infertile began to feel closer to Mary than ever before.
For years, now, I have tried to keep Our Lady always at the forefront of my thoughts, my prayers, my actions, and my words. I have tried to set her as the role model woman, wife, spiritual mother that I aspire to be. I have tried. And I have failed. Repeatedly. And so, I felt, all efforts were futile.
Scott Hahn has reminded me that God has called me to be a Saint. And that like so many brothers and sisters in Christ before me, I will fall. But, I will rise again. And Mary, my Mother, will be within me every step of the way.
As the blessed icon of Our Lady, Helper in Childbirth sits atop my mantel,
I know her presence was needed more than ever at this time of my spiritual journey.
Our Lady, Queen of All Saints, Mother of the Church, pray for us!
Visit the other stops along the Tour:
May 27: St. Michael and the Angels - Catholic Katie
May 28: Moses - Abigail’s Alcove
May 29: St. Paul - Catholic Bibles
May 30: St. Ignatius of Antioch - The Orant
May 31: St. Irenaeus of Lyons - Seasons of Grace
June 1: St. Jerome - Stuart’s Study
June 2: St. Monica and St. Augustine - Happy Catholic
June 3: St. Thomas Aquinas - Blog of the Courtier
June 4: St. Therese of Lisieux - Single Catholic Girl
June 5: St. Maximilian Kolbe - Random Acts of Momness
June 6: St. Josemaria Escriva - Catholic Mom
June 7: Queen of All Saints, Mother of the Church - This Cross I Embrace
To win your FREE COPY of the book Angels and Saints, please leave a comment with my favorite Marian Feast Day - and date of my Consecration. (Guessing totally allowed!)