Monday, August 16, 2010

Pray For Us

    I have been wanting a patron saint for my blog for a while.  Lots of blogs I read have little pictures of their patron saint on their page and I have always wanted to add one to mine as well.  There are so many saints I admire but none seemed to be the perfect one. 
    The other day as I was driving around running errands with the kids, I heard a little snippet of a segment on our local Catholic radio station.  They were talking about a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary known as the “Mater Admirabilis“, which is Latin for Mother Most Admirable.  They said that the painting depicts Mary with a pile of books at her side and that copies of the painting are often found in schools.  We were in and out of the car a lot that day and I was only able to listen for a few minutes in between stops, so that is all I heard.   It was maybe two minutes of a segment that likely lasted a half hour.  I am not even sure why they were discussing the painting or what context they were discussing it in.  Furthermore, I am not sure how I happened to hear anything on the radio in the chaos of an afternoon of shopping with all five children during back-to-school sales.  Yet I was intrigued by what I had heard.  I came home that evening and searched the internet for Mater Amabilis, (my spelling was wrong but I had only heard the name that one time, for a second, with five rambunctious children in the car, and though the kids and I have started our Prima Latina lessons several years in a row we have yet to advance very far into it, so my Latin is rusty to say the least).   I found a website for a free online Catholic home school curriculum that I had, ironically, checked out a few years ago and forgotten about.   I found a lovely Catholic blog post by a mother of five who was sharing her thoughts on said home school curriculum.  I did not find out any information about a painting or about Mary being known as Mother Most Admirable. 
    The name and the painting remained in the back of my mind as I went about my very busy week, that included last minute school preparations, and a lot of worry and prayer over our rapidly approaching new school year.   Sunday evening, with only hours left before the kids and I would dive head first into another year of home schooling, I was checking my e-mail and thinking again about how much I needed supernatural help to successfully and peacefully handle another year of home schooling a houseful.  I decided to try one more time to find out more about Mater Admirabilis.  This time I stuck with English, since my spelling is more reliable in my native tongue, and searched for “Mother Most Admirable“.  Already my prayers for supernatural intervention were being answered.  I found what I was looking for. 
    At the story of the Mater Admirabilis fresco, housed in a convent in Rome, spoke right to me, as if Mary was personally whispering it in my ear.   The miracle of the painting itself, the beauty of the peaceful image of Mary surrounded by symbols of all her work and responsibilities, the writer’s personal experiences and reflections-- all of it were God’s perfect answer to my insecurities and fears.  Of course, I know that God has entrusted me with the blessing of my children and that it was He who called me to home school them but I have been so unsure, even with His gentle reassurances (read more here), about my ability to actually do it.  I knew He would not leave me alone in this endeavor and yet I worried.  But in the miraculous image of the Mater Admirabilis, I knew Jesus was entrusting me to the care of His beautiful mother.  And as I gazed at the image on the website I immediately felt her peace within me.  I knew she would be the patron for me, for my children, for our home and our school.  I knew she would be with us through this year and all the years to come, watching over me and my children and helping me to face my work and responsibilities with the same peace and serenity she has.  Right away, I started praying, “Mother Most Admirable, pray for us“.  I repeated those words as I went to sleep, and when I opened my eyes in the morning.  I  shared the story with the kids as we started our first day of school and I showed them the picture, which I am now searching for a nice copy of to hang on the wall of our class room. 
    It may not seem exactly miraculous, but we had a great first day, and the kids are actually excited about the plans I’ve made for the year.  So, I now have a patron for my blog, a new devotion to Mary Most Admirable, and a peace about the upcoming school year that is surely supernatural.

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