“My spirit rejoices in God my savior.” – Mary rejoicing with Elizabeth Luke 1:47
As I was browsing Barnes and Noble last night, I noticed that “mindfulness” appears in the titles of many books in several sections of the store. The practice seems to be becoming quite popular. This gives me hope.
Having said that, I have to add that I don’t know a lot about what these books are suggesting. It just seems like a very good practice to dwell in the present moment in business or cooking or exercise or artistic creation. If people find ways of writing books on these subjects, I can only applaud.
For me mindfulness means being fully right where I am when I am there. It is all about relationship. When I am present right here where I am, I find that God is right here with me. We participate in the world together, and my spirit rejoices.
“St. Mary the Virgin” is how we name the woman who listened well to God and opened her womb to the Incarnation. I used to hate that until I learned that the term “Virgin” has only recently come to mean “having never had sex”. In previous eras it has meant “a woman who is not owned by any man.” So, replace the idea of sexual naivete with the notion of powerful self regard, awareness and volition.
“My spirit rejoices in God my Savior,” was not just how Mary was feeling as she met Elizabeth and the babies leapt in their wombs. She was a woman of mindfulness. Her spirit was always in God. That’s how she saw the angel in the first place. That’s why she said “yes” to God’s improbable demand. She opened her heart and her womb to something completely beyond her understanding.
We, too, can live from the place where, attuned to the present moment, we experience God. “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” is a good prayer to carry around as we go through our days. Utter it often and see how it brings you into the Now.
As we celebrate Mary, the mother of our Lord, we are also called to be like her. May we all in each moment rejoice in God. And in this way may our hearts be opened to the “yes” that allows God to enter and use us for God’s purposes – even when they are beyond our understanding.
Iconographer: Marek Czarnecki, Seraphic Restorations (http://www.seraphicrestorations.com)
Laurie Gudim is an artist, writer and spiritual director living in Fort Collins, Colorado. Visit her on the web at everydaymysteries.com