“Do you not see the Madonna always beside the tabernacle?” (St. Padre Pio)
On this Feast of the Immaculate Conception we look to and ponder the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ who is always at his side. She is the epitome of faith, obedience and meekness, (Luke 1:38) and yet is also a figure of strength, internalizing her feelings (Luke 2:19) and standing by her Son through His crucifixion (John 19:25).
In her beautiful song, “Breath of Heaven”, Amy Grant sings of how Mary must have surely felt as she traveled the long road to Nazareth, holding the tiny Christ child deep within her womb:
“Do you wonder, as you watch my face, if a wiser one, should have had my place?
Yet I offer all I am, for the mercy of Your plan;
Help me be strong…
Help me be…
Breath of Heaven, hold me together, be forever near me, Breath of Heaven.
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness, pour unto me your Holiness, for you are holy,
Breath of Heaven…”
We can all make those words our own this Season, asking the Holy Spirit to be with us as we travel our own road to Bethlehem to greet the infant Jesus on Christmas Day. As Padre Pio reminds us, let us look for Mary besides the tabernacle.
St. Padre Pio, pray for us!