As a little girl (one of nine kids, five of them girls!) I was very familiar with all kinds of knots in life – tangled hair, golden necklace chains intertwined with other chains, double knotted shoelaces.
Many of these knots seemed impossible to untangle, yet I always knew my mom would take them into her hands and use her nimble, loving fingers to untangle my hair, my necklaces, my shoelaces.
Mary, undoer of knots
I have come to understand that our Heavenly Mother, Mary, uses her motherly fingers to undo the knots of our souls. Imagine our souls as a white ribbon, knotted in habitual sin we can’t seem to escape. When I began pray to Mary, Undoer of Knots, I started to notice the loosening of my knots – my habitual sins, my struggles with selfishness and impatience.
Because I am a visual learner and pray-er, I love the imagery of Mary untying the knots of our souls. It brings me to think of my own mom; I remember watching her carefully untie knots for me, no matter how long it took.
In imagining Mary’s fingers, or thinking back to my own mom’s fingers working diligently to untie those pesky knots, I realize something extraordinary we can learn from Mary: to let God love the world through our fingers, hands and bodies.
Letting God love through our touch
Through touching our children’s cherub-like faces, feeling their oh-so-soft skin and silky hair, and studying their little ears and toes for hours, we adore God in the perfection of our beautiful children’s heavenly features.
Through wiping tears from their velvety flushed cheeks, holding their aching, feverish bodies and lightly stroking our overtired babies off to sleep, we use our fingers to become messengers of Christ’s hopeful comfort in our children’s times of sadness and distress.
Through spooning food disguised as an airplane coming in for a landing between two tiny lips, patting miniature backs to get that coveted burp, and peeling hundreds of oranges (despite the crisp citrus smell that clings to your fingers for hours), we use our fingers to nourish their bodies while we use our same fingers folded in prayer that Christ uses His own body to nourish their souls.
Through the less-than-desirable tasks of picking booger-infested noses, wiping poopy, stinky butts, cleaning ‘what-did-they-eat!?’ throw up, we enter into God’s sacrificial love for his children.
Through holding small hands as they learn to walk, laying our hands over theirs to teach them to write, flipping pages of their favorite book to encourage reading, we use our fingers to work with the Holy Spirit in guiding and teaching our children.
As you can see, God uses our motherly fingers to love His children and the secret of a phenomenal mom is simply to let Him. Our fingers, our touch can be sacred passageways of God’s love to our children, and all those we encounter.
Thank you, Mommy Mary, for undoing our knots and being such a beautiful and sacred passageway to your Son, Jesus.
(Stacy Halbach, Director of Youth Ministry, St. Joseph Parish)