Mary Took My Hand

by Joanne Slugocki

One of my favorite sights is the full moon reflected on the North Sea on a clear night in Robin Hood’s Bay. Last summer on the Feast of the Assumption I was able to share this experience with my parents and brother who came to visit. The night before their departure, we walked down to the sea one last time and were met by a glorious full moon.

The moon always reminds me of Our Lady. As with the moon, which has no light of its own but reflects the light of the sun, so it is with Our Lady, who always reflects the beauty and goodness of God.

This past March, when England was re-dedicated as Our Lady’s Dowry and each person was encouraged to make a personal consecration, I reflected on my own consecration to Jesus through Mary.

For many years now I have been aware that it is Our Lady who brought me to where I am today. This consecration which I prepared for and completed (at first half-heartedly) to appease my mother, changed and continues to change my life.

And although initially I did not observe a distinct change, it was upon looking back after some years that I noticed that a definite shift had occurred from that moment.

All of us long to be fulfilled, healed, and made whole. This is what holiness is—wholeness, joy, being fully alive. Often we do not recognise that it is only in Christ that we find this.

When we entrust ourselves to Our Lady, she takes us on in a special way and leads us into the heart of her Son. Her desire for us, like the desire of any good mother is that we have joy.

I can liken my own experience to that of a person with a map, not sure exactly where I wanted to go, interpreting the signs and symbols my own way, sometimes asking for help when I felt lost, and sort of stumbling along the best I could.

After entrusting myself to Our Lady, she took me by the hand and guided me. My desire began to be clear to me. Opportunities to grow in my faith arose and became appealing to me. The courage to step away from other people’s expectations of me and to follow my own heart grew. I went from fearing and resisting God’s will to joyful acceptance.

The journey continues, little by little; I feel as though I am becoming more and more free.

Our Lady knows the shortcuts. When there is a difficult lesson to be learned she is the one who provides the “spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.” She helps us shoulder our heavy burdens and encourages us along our way.

God chose Our Lady as the gateway through which he passed so that he could dwell among us. Do not be afraid of passing through this gateway which is the surest and easiest way to the heart of the Father.