I saw a copy of the ‘Catholic Digest’ at home and carelessly flipped through its pages. My brother was a member of the S.M.L. (Students’ Missionary League), and I presume that the boys were given the back copies of the magazines which they brought home. As I loved to read, I made a generous use of the copies.

As I went through its pages, I noticed an Article: “Doubling for Mary”, by Fr. Daniel A. Lord S. J. I wondered what ‘Doubling’ was – I surmised the meaning only as I began reading the article. It was to be another MARY.

I was charmed by the way he wrote about Mother Mary and how we too could be other Marys.

It was Mary’s answer all along the way – the whole hearted ‘YES’ that she uttered. In fact I made that Article a true picture of Mary in my life. Of course, at the start, I was very earnest and zealous in pursuing the steps but as all good resolutions get dimmed with time, very soon I forgot about it. But how could I give up my heart’s desire! My thoughts took me back to her when I met her at every step of my way when I joined the A.C. Fold. She was perched high up in the Chapel to whom we daily sang, ’The Flower of Carmel!’ How could I fail to whisper a ‘Sweet Good Night’ every night before going to bed!

I had learnt in school the hymn: ‘Mary-like in soul and body, Mary-like in heart and mind, Mary-like in every action, child of God how great thou art!’ That hymn is easy to remember and hum and so, as I went about, this was what I kept singing. I also had two prayers to Mother Mary which I cherish and daily recite as a part of my Morning Prayer. It is: ‘My Queen and my Mother to you do I give...’

Fr. Daniel A. Lord S.J. takes us step by step through Mary’s life:

Mary uttered her solemn ‘YES’ when the Angel Gabriel visited her and said that she will be the Mother of God. Of course Mary questioned the angel how it was possible and getting an answer to clear her doubt, and also hearing that her cousin Elizabeth in her old age was getting a child for nothing is impossible to God, she uttered her solemn ‘Yes, Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to thy word’. I too have to learn to question as Mary did to utter that ‘yes’ when certain trying situations arise.

Having heard from the Angel Gabriel that that her cousin Elizabeth in her old age was expecting a child and she was already in the sixth month she immediately got ready for her tedious journey to Hebron to take care of her, unmindful of her own apprehensions about her safety, her protection and needs. That information stirred within Mary a well deserving response – Elizabeth is old and will be in dire need of assistance. Today, you can’t venture out without much trepidation. But there are occasions when unstinted help comes forth in a community. Elizabeth’s welcome: ‘How is it that the mother of my God comes to greet me’, was a definite affirmation of her divine motherhood. Mary confirms her ‘yes’ by her visit.

Joseph has a difficult assignment when Herod announces the registration of every person in his home town as Mary was in the family way and would deliver the child any moment. But Mary says a difficult ‘yes’ when she was prepared to accompany Joseph to Bethlehem – his home town. Am I ready for a difficult job given to me?

The angel tells Joseph in a dream that the child’s life is in danger as Herod wants to kill the child. He is asked to flee to Egypt. Everything is uncertain but Mary trusts God and Joseph and goes wherever he goes with the child. Her ‘Yes’ is a trustful ‘yes’. Every transfer should be a humble ‘yes’ to authority.

Being faithful to follow the law, Mary accompanies Joseph with the Babe and the required offering to present to God the Child Jesus on the 40th day of his birth. Strange happenings! Simeon the prophet entered in as he was told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he sees the Messiah and right on time he enters the temple, carries the child in his arms and prophesizes about the child and the mother, saying that her own heart will be pierced with a lance. Mary understands nothing but treasures all this in her heart. She utters her painful ‘yes’. When strange and painful news come to me, what do I do? Pray to accept it gracefully.

Jesus was lost for three days when he was 12 years of age when they took him to the temple in Jerusalem. He stayed back meeting the teachers of the law, discussing and deliberating on the law. Mary questioned him why he was not in the group causing them so much anxiety looking for him. A spontaneous answer: ‘Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?’ Mary was shocked with the reply but kept pondering in her heart.

Do I imitate Mary in similar situations?

Jesus leaves home and starts on his divine mission. It is a sad parting and later she hears that he is speaking to the people. Mary also hears that he is out of his senses. She is taken aback and accompanied by several companions goes to his meeting place and the crowd seeing her tell him that his mother has come in search of him. Jesus shows no desire to meet his mother but asks: ‘Who is my mother … and says they who do the will of God are his mother …’ Mary could have been hurt when her Son does not acknowledge his mother but answers, they who do the will of his Father are his mother, brother… but Mary accepts this seeming insult. In fact Mary is his first disciple. Am I his disciple always?

Mary is there at the foot of the cross looking at Jesus, suffering in excruciating pain. She experienced it all in her own heart. She hears him utter, ‘Mother behold your son’ casting his gaze on John. In accepting John, Mary accepted each one of us – the whole of sinful humanity as her children. We thank her for her solemn Yes’ when we became her children. There are times when through our tears we have to utter that ‘yes’ when a question of forgiving or acceptance of blame come.

St. Agnes Convent has a large community comprising of the very old, the middle aged and the young. It affords many occasions to go out of ourselves to reach out to others especially in difficult situations.

It happened on the day when the burial service for Sister Stephanie Mary was over and the community had gathered to share the feelings of love and gratitude. After the night prayer we dispersed and directed our steps to the Chapel to thank God and say a fond ‘good night’ to Jesus. I came in pushing my ‘walker’ into the sanctuary to touch Mother Mary’s feet and whisper a list of petitions when the ‘walker’ turned over me and I fell on my back and hit my head against a bench. When I lay helpless on the floor, the sisters rallied around me helping me to stand up. Some ran to the fridge to bring ice cubes to place on the head where it was hurt. Lest the brain should be hurt it was decided to take me to the hospital and have a scan taken. Though it was an unearthly hour, the sisters ran to get an auto and in no time got one and took me to Father Muller hospital. I was taken to the Emergency ward and the brain scan was taken. The doctor came and assured that all was well and there was nothing to be worried about.

At St. Agnes you will see the number of ramps in the convent. You have to climb up sometimes and move down and for the old with walking disabilities it becomes a herculean task and for those with ‘walkers’ the danger is greater. But there are ministering angels who readily stretch out their hand to assist.

What a boon it is where the old are not separated and put in infirmaries but are with the young who help to enliven the atmosphere and make the old sisters feel they are loved and cared for.

The Institutions on the campus have great opportunities to go out like Mary to be at the side of the weak and the poor. Last week, a staff member was desperate as her mother suffering from cancer could not be admitted into any hospital as they were demanding money. On hearing this, the staff emptied their purses on the spot, collected Rs.10,000/- and immediately raced to the hospital to admit the patient. This definitely is to be like Mary!

Sister M. Stanislas A.C.
St. Agnes Convent


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