From a traditional Catholic perspective, St. Mary, the Mother of God, offers numerous lessons for spiritual and daily life, always pointing to her Son, Jesus Christ, as the focal point of faith. The following is the introduction to a series about ten different things we can learn from and about St. Mary.

Faith and Trust in God

Mary’s unwavering faith, especially during the Annunciation when she accepted the Angel Gabriel’s message, teaches us to trust in God’s will. Despite not fully understanding the implications, she said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38) This trust is a model for all Christians, demonstrating that faith sometimes means surrendering to God’s plan without full comprehension at first.

Humility

Despite her pivotal role in salvation history as the Mother of God, Mary remained humble. She acknowledged her lowliness in the Magnificat, saying, “Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid.” (Luke 1:48) Her humility teaches us to remain grounded and avoid pride, recognising that all we have and are is due to God’s grace.

Obedience

Mary’s acceptance of God’s will, articulated in her response to Gabriel, “Let it be with me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38, NRSV-CE), highlights the importance of obedience. Her life exemplifies complete submission to God’s will, even when it led her to witness her Son’s suffering and death.

Patience

Throughout her life, Mary exhibited patience. From the early challenges of being an unwed mother to enduring the pain of Jesus’ Crucifixion, she remained steadfast. Her patience is a powerful lesson, encouraging us to trust in God’s timing and maintain faith through life’s many difficulties.

Compassion and Empathy

Mary’s caring nature is evident at the Wedding at Cana, where she noticed the lack of wine and interceded on behalf of the hosts (John 2:1-11). Her compassion and empathy teach us to be attentive to the needs of others and to act to help those in need, always pointing towards Jesus for ultimate guidance and support.

Suffering with Grace

Mary’s presence during Jesus’ Crucifixion, where she stood by His cross (John 19:25), demonstrates how to endure suffering with grace and faith. Her acceptance of her own suffering, united with her Son’s Passion, demonstrates how to find meaning in pain through faith in God’s greater plan.

Prayerfulness

Mary’s life was deeply rooted in prayer and contemplation. She pondered the events of Jesus’ life in her heart (Luke 2:19, 51), showing a continuous dialogue with God. Her prayerfulness encourages us to maintain a strong prayer life and seek a deeper relationship with God through reflection and meditation.

Service to Others

Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, who was also miraculously pregnant, shows her willingness to serve others selflessly (Luke 1:39-56). This act of kindness teaches us the importance of service and support within our communities, putting others’ needs before our own.

Model of Purity

Mary’s purity of heart and mind is exemplified in her acceptance of God’s will at the Annunciation and her life dedicated to God. Her example inspires us to strive for purity in our own lives, living in accordance with God’s will and avoiding sin.

Hope and Perseverance

Even in the face of great challenges, such as the flight into Egypt, the loss of the young Jesus in the Temple, and witnessing His Crucifixion, Mary never lost hope. Her perseverance encourages us to remain hopeful and resilient, trusting that God’s love and grace will sustain us through every trial.

Through these lessons, St. Mary not only provides a roadmap for living a faithful, compassionate, and humble Christian life but also constantly points to Jesus as the King and the centre of our faith. Her life is a witness to how all Catholics should direct their lives towards Christ, the source of salvation and the ultimate example of love and sacrifice.

May God bless you +