On our way to Mass recently, we picked some black-eyed Susan flowers that our little kids were excited to place before our church’s large statue of the Blessed Mother. By the time we got out of the car and realized the logistical challenge of transporting the three single flowers safely into the church, though, I gave up on the idea. We were running late and wanted to get the kids inside.
So I was surprised that at the end of Mass, the kids produced three flowers from various pockets, and one from the diaper bag. I laughed, because at this point the flowers looked even worse than if they’d been sitting in the hot car. I tried to think of an alternate plan for honoring the Blessed Mother, but my wife chimed in that the blossoms would still be fine. She told the kids, “That is exactly what Mary likes to do. She takes our banged-up gifts, makes them better and offers them to Jesus. Give her the flowers.”
I wasn’t prepared for her on-the-fly theology lesson to get me right in the feels, but I gathered up the kids and we made our way to the statue, before which a number of people were waiting to light candles. I quickly tried to find an alternate Mary statue.
We settled for a stained glass window of Mary’s coronation. The kids left the flowers one by one on the windowsill for the Blessed Mother, Jesus and the janitor. Their mission accomplished, our little ones smiled and went on their way.
But I was left with a real sense of peace, thinking how Mary can transform my “bent and banged up” efforts into a sweet offering to God. For me, it takes the pressure off a bit.
My wife’s insight was a nice reminder of the beauty of having a strong relationship with Mary. Even when we’re disappointed in ourselves, we can be at peace. In the scope of God, his universe and eternity itself, we are all very little. Our success and failures, while important to God, are also, in a sense, like half-forgotten cut flowers. But if we offer them with love, through his Mother, we can give God our best even though we are very little.
Patrick Walsh manages Martha’s Choice Marketplace, a choice model food pantry at Catholic Social Services’ Montgomery County Family Service Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about Martha’s Choice can be found at www.marthaschoicemarketplace.com.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103