Mary, Undoer of Knots
We are blessed more than we can conceive or imagine, having as our advocate in heaven, the holy mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The month of May is one of the two months (October is the other) when we give heightened attention and honor to the Virgin Mary. Mother of Jesus, and our mother, too, Mary is filled with grace, and is always ready to bring us and our needs before her Son. Like every mother, she wants only the best for her Son, so she will polish up our offerings and present us in the best of lights, making perfect the gift of our imperfect offering. Likewise, she loves us unconditionally and wants the best for us. We need only ask her loving intercession.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has been a promoter of the image and devotion of Mary, Undoer of Knots ever since 1986, when he was in Germany working on his doctoral thesis (on theologian and author, Romano Guardini). He saw the lovely image of Our Lady, by Johann George Melchior Schmidtner, painted around 1700, in the church of St Peter am Perlach, in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany. The image had been inspired by the experience of a German nobleman who went to his priest, seeking to save his marriage from threatened divorce. A miracle occurred with the nobleman's 'wedding ribbon' and the marriage was saved, later leading family members to commission the painting to commemorate the miraculous intercession of our Blessed Mother. Jorge Bergoglio brought the image back to Argentina in postcard form, and shared it with many, spreading the devotion across Latin America. He has never stopped promoting Our Lady, especially in her capacity as undoer of knots. Who among us can boast of a life free of tangled knots?
Elected pope on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis presided over a special Year of Faith ceremony on October 13, during which he expounded upon Mary's role as "undoer of knots." He referred to a document of the Second Vatican Council which states that "Mary's faith unties the knot of sin," building upon a phrase of St. Irenaeus: "the knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by the obedience of Mary; what the virgin Eve bound by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith." Pope Francis described what was meant by "knots of sin." He called it "the 'knot' of disobedience, the 'knot' of unbelief" and further explained, "When we do not listen to (God), when we do not follow his will, we do concrete things that demonstrate our lack of trust in him - for that is what sin is - and a kind of knot is created deep within us. These knots take away our peace and serenity. They are dangerous, since many knots can form a tangle which gets more and more painful and difficult to undo.
But we know one thing: nothing is impossible for God's mercy! Even the most tangled knots are loosened by his grace. And Mary, whose "yes" opened the door for God to undo the knot of the ancient disobedience, is the Mother who patiently and lovingly brings us to God, so that he can untangle the knots of our soul by his fatherly mercy. We all have some of these knots and we can ask in our heart of hearts: What are the knots in my life? "Father, my knots cannot be undone!" It is a mistake to say anything of the sort! All the knots of our heart, every knot of our conscience, can be undone. Do I ask Mary to help me trust in God's mercy, to undo those knots, to change? She, as a woman of faith, will surely tell you: "Get up, go to the Lord: he understands you". And she leads us by the hand as a Mother, our Mother, to the embrace of our Father, the Father of mercies."
On Good Friday we were reminded that Jesus, in his last agonies, made a gift of his mother to us. Let us honor her as He did, and let us turn to her in our every need, allowing her, true mother that she is, to share her grace with us, to smooth free our every knot.
Prayer composed by Jorge Bergoglio:
Holy Mary, full of God's presence during the days of your life,
you accepted with full humility the Father's will,
and the Devil was never capable to tie you around with his confusion.
Once with your son you interceded for our difficulties
and full of kindness and patience you gave us example
of how to untie the knots of our life.
And by remaining forever Our Mother, you put in order, and make more clear
the ties that link us to the Lord.
Holy Mother, Mother of God, and our Mother,
to you, who untie with motherly heart the knots of our life,
we pray to you to receive in your hands (the name of person),
and to free him/her of the knots and confusion with which our enemy attacks.
Through your grace, your intercession, and your example,
deliver us from all evil, Our Lady,
and untie the knots that prevent us from being united with God,
so that we, free from sin and error, may find Him in all things,
may have our hearts placed in Him,
and may serve Him always in our brothers and sisters. Amen.
(from a novena booklet I own)
(referenced for info and/or quotes)