90 Day Challenge: Day 13 – Knowledge

“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” (Proverbs 18:15)

First, I know I am a day late posting this blog. Day 13 of my modified Nineveh 90 Day Challenge was actually yesterday, Sunday July 15th.

Today – Monday, July 16th –  is the third anniversary of my consecration to Mary and the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

It was taking the six-week Fr. Michael Gaitley workshop “33 Days To Morning Glory” that led me to know Mary as my spiritual Mother and helped me to understand her place more fully in the Divine Order.

Although I had been Catholic since 2008, I really had not established a true devotion to Mary or the rosary. I considered myself a born-again Christian who joined the Church because of my longing to partake of Communion.

Yet, as I note in a talk I have given in group settings, I can now look back to see that Mary had been after me to notice her for many years before I made my first Profession of Faith.  Once in a very dramatic way I have shared with a discreet few.

But the knowledge I have gained since about entering the heart of Jesus through Mary has had a profound impact on my sense of being fully Catholic and my desire to understand the underpinnings of Catholicism “in the fullness of faith.”

Knowledge and its value was inculcated in me from a very young age.  Becoming educated was the primary goal the “Mom who raised me” had for my life; my Dad (by birth my maternal grandfather) held the same goal for me too, though less volubly expressed.

I was abetted in my scholarly quest by two summertime neighbors who had cottages where we lived year round. One was a former teacher whose first question for me every summer was what kind of grades had I made that school year.

The other was an older neighbor with whom I played Scrabble on rainy days.  It was from her I learned the meaning of the word “gnu” and many others.

And then there was “the box.” The box that had been left behind by the prior owners of our house.  It had a complete volume of the works of Shakespeare, as well as many navy blue, gold embossed books containing the writings of Ibsen and Wilde, Voltaire and du Maupassant (père et fils). There was an orange bound anthology of the writings of O. Henry and the works of Gustav Flaubert.

Curiously, there was also a copy of “The G-String Murders,” written by famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, and another murder mystery novel called “The Glass Key,” the book jacket of which featured actors I now recognize as Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd.

It was an eclectic collection perfect for a child who spent a good portion of her years hanging out in taverns learning to play shuffleboard and shoot pool, drinking Pepsi because – well, they don’t serve milk in taverns, don’t cha know.

It was because -even though they exposed me to it- they didn’t want that lifestyle for me that caused my parents to push me so hard to become educated.

Never ones to be comfortable attending school functions, my parents were in great haste to set up a parent teacher conference when I got my first “C” in math in sixth grade.

My teacher (also a family friend), would go on to educate me about the proper way to hold a fork and knife while cutting my meat. She never wanted my future mate to throw a frying pan at my head as hers had at her for making this mistake in etiquette.

Amazing the things your math teacher can help you learn to sum up about life.  I was 11 when I learned your mate might throw things your way you never saw coming, leaving indelible scars hidden by your hairdo and in the depths of your heart.

The depth of Mary’s heart is what we are called to study in our quest to become disciples.

We are to learn her virtues and do our best to emulate them, “thereby encouraging us fervently to honor the blessed Mother of God, in whom the Eternal Wisdom dwelt bodily, and through whom He was given to us, that by her intercession our understanding may be enlightened, our will strengthened, and we be inspired with fresh zeal to practice ourselves, and to prevail on others to practice also, whatever is chaste, becoming, and holy.” (Laudate: Saint of the Day)

“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”  (John 13:17).

The Ten Evangelical Virtues of Mary:

1. Most Pure 2. Most Prudent  3. Most Humble 4. Most Faithful 5. Most Devout  6. Most Obedient  7. Most Poor  8. Most Patient. 9. Most Merciful  10. Most Sorrowful  (catholictruth.net)

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