Mary From The Treadmill


I can’t finish Lent without doing a post about Mary. Especially since she has been interceding so beautifully for me through my time on the Treadmill and bringing me ever closer to her son Jesus. She is truly a mother to me in so many ways.

I think what has struck me in a new way about Mary is the transformation brought about by the total journey of her life. We are used to thinking of her in terms of singular events as depicted in the mysteries of the rosary: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, Finding the child Jesus in the temple, her Ascension to Heaven and her crowning as Queen of Heaven. We have only a handful of stories about her in scripture, but she teaches us more than most other characters in the Bible by her beautiful example in each situation: her Fiat, Obedience, Trust, Magnificat, and simple, quiet acceptance.

When I consider the totality of Mary’s journey, especially in light of the fact that she is still physically appearing around the world fulfilling her Motherly duty, it’s hard to remember that she was a simple child of faith when the Angel of the Lord appeared to her so incredibly. She wasn’t born any more divine than you or I but she learned through her life of sufferings and joys to accept and abide in God’s will. It isn’t any single moment in her life that makes Mary great (although she sure did have some doosies!), but rather the sum total of all the parts. What hope for us mere sinners! We can walk in those very footsteps! St. Thérèse of Lisieux, known as the little flower, recognized this same Truth and lived the way of “doing little things with great love.” If we pick up our cross daily and simply live as we are called, we undergo a slow and steady transformation, the end of which we can never fully imagine at the beginning.

Mary walked step by step, day by day, in faith and obedience, and consequently, God elevated her tremendously, all the way to assuming her bodily into Heaven and crowning her Queen of Heaven, mere human though she was! Her first big ‘Yes’ was only the beginning of her lifelong assent to God and He continues to use her in His plan for bringing the kingdom into its fullness. I doubt she knew and understood at the cross how she would live out her role as Mother for her eternity. What human could conceive of such a plan? She simply said Yes to her Lord in every moment. Her apparitions at Fatima, Lourdes, Medjugorge, and countless other places are evidence of her ongoing ‘Yes.’ Her message is constant and simple, Pray, Pray, Pray. Return to Jesus. She has much to teach us and we can learn as she did by allowing our life, step by step, to be lived for doing God’s will. It is God’s grace that will make something great from whatever humble offering we can make.

I completed my first consecration to Jesus through Mary this past summer using Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book, 33 days to Morning Glory. It is a beautiful journey with some of the great saints who had a devotion to our Blessed Mother and have so much revealed wisdom to share with us. If you haven’t made your consecration through Mary yet, the next day to start is Easter Sunday if you already have a book or April 10, 19th or 28th. The booklet takes you through a short reading and reflection every morning for 33 days that will bless you and help you live your own Fiat more fully. For love of God, seek Him through His mother and you will find Him in new ways. I would love to pray this devotion again along with you. Leave a comment if you want to start and we can do it together!
You can grab your copy HERE for a nominal fee

Have a Blessed and Holy Easter!


Holy Week Reflection from the Treadmill


I love Holy Week. Our Faith life is so rich and full and the sense of anticipation is great. You may have noticed by now that I have a Love/Hate relationship with my treadmill that is echoed this week as well as in all of my sufferings. It seems fitting that, despite the expectation of Joy, we remember the greatest suffering of the Passion and death of our Lord, and share in that by our sacrifice. Thankfully, the moments of intense discomfort on the treadmill have grown fewer and there are actually moments that the work I am doing isn’t my foremost thought. I am reminded that we are not supposed to suffer always. There are seasons for every purpose under Heaven.

In my own sufferings, my cross is one that will never be gone from my shoulders, and yet, there are moments when I am not ‘suffering’ at all. There are plenty of times in my day-to-day life that I am not thinking of my sorrows or feeling their weight. There are many moments that my inner Joy is more present and I am filled with a sense of Hope. I know there are many reasons for that, not the least of which is tremendous grace, but there is room for both to coexist. They need to coexist. The one is made more powerful by the presence of the other.

The mysteries of the rosary speak to this constant dichotomy of suffering and Joy. Out of twenty mysteries surrounding the Life of our Lord and our Lady, only five of them are sorrowful. We only meditate on them two days out of seven (Tuesdays and Fridays). The church, in her wisdom, sets aside time each year to dig into suffering, but only six weeks out of fifty-two. How appropriate for me that the timing of my toughest dates lead in and coincide with this time in the church. For those who haven’t known suffering of their own yet, meditating on the sorrows of Jesus and Mary can transform us. How can we have hope in Resurrection if we don’t first know death?

I don’t only suffer, but I can speak to it well for having spent some time there; I have really gotten to know death. By Easter Sunday, I will be ready to shake the dust from my feet, put suffering in its place for a while, and rejoice with the greatest Joy that (sometimes here, and always for eternity) I get to know the reprieve from “having suffered.” I will rejoice whole-heartedly in the next season of Resurrection, which fills my soul with untold freedom and joy!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.…” (Ecc 3:1-4)