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No Mary? No Fran!

No Mary? No Fran! What does that mean? Stay with me and I will explain.

For many reasons, I stopped going to mass and being a part of church, not long after my Confirmation in May of 1971; I think I made it to somewhere along the line in 1972. For many other reasons, I continued to stay away until I participated in mass in late September of 1990. 18 long years.

During that time I explored a lot, and I do mean a lot. First stop was to delve into my Jewish heritage. My Aunt Roberta, who was my grandmother’s sister and the only Jewish relative I had regular contact with at the time, even bought me a Star of David and chai charm to wear on my necklace. I think that she was generally ambivalent about such things, but she was trying to be supportive in her own way. In any case, I did not end up becoming an observant Jew.

Then came all sorts of other things. My father was a great seeker, so we had lots of books about every sort of religion. I read them with great vigor, but did not find a place to stop. Islam. Hinduism. Buddhism. The exotic nature of all of these faiths had great appeal to me, but they were not for me. (I did have a later foray into Buddhism that did not ever develop into anything.)

There was never any doubt for me, ever – about God. My belief in Jesus as Christ was what kept me from becoming some of those other things. So why not explore, beyond my reading, some other form of Christianity?

Well, it comes down to this… No Mary? No Fran!

Jesus was never negotiable, but then again – neither was Mary. Ever. And it was through Mary that I came back to church, and look where that has lead me! Honestly, if not for my connection with our Blessed Mother, I honestly do not know where I would end up. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, but Mary is with Him on this, calling us home. And that is exactly how I ended up here.

May is the month of Mary and today’s post begins what I hope to be a series of reflections that I would like to offer about our beloved Blessed Mother.

To that end, what do you think about Mary? Send me your thoughts in the comments, or if you wish to be private, let me know that you have something to share through the comments and I will reach out to you.


2 Responses

  1. Fran, this is a beautiful post (with a very arresting title) about how Mary has influenced your faith journey. For me, as a convert from the Protestant perspective, the place of Mary has been more of a challenge; however, as I reflect on John’s Gospel and the fact that Jesus has given us to Mary and Mary to us through the beloved disciple, I am less ambivalent. I respected her as the Mother of our Lord but had not been accustomed to asking her to approach Jesus on my behalf…until, of course, I was very worried about one of my children and I cried out to Mary because she understands about a mother’s love for her children. Then I realized that Mary certainly has a place in my faith journey as well – even if I arrived at that experientially rather than intellectually.

    I look forward to learning more during this month of May.

  2. I am totally with you Fran! I have the Hail Mary on my blog under “Take the drama to your Mama!” because in the end, she is with me all the time. I just can’t see the whole picture without her! I will be posting a video on my blog that my daughter made when she was 11, the same little girl who in the night would call me and point at the corner to “the Lady” not sure if the influence was singing “Hail MAry Gentle Woman” to her every night! 🙂 But her story before that was that when she was 3 weeks old she ended up with whooping cough and after a week of literally no sleep I was at my breaking point. I remember vividly, calling on Mary, mother of all mothers, to mother my child while I slept that night. I had some fear but I had more assurance that she would be ok. When three hours had passed, I woke with a panicked start and ran to the bassinet, no cough for all that time?? But she was well, and alive. And she never experienced the cough again. My Mary, as always, stood where I needed her and mothered both of us that night. So yes, no Mary, No me.

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