Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

Holy Child Mary, gentle and humble of heart, you are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you are the fairest honor of our people!” (see Judith 15:9)

Reflection:

Little kids laugh easily, and almost anything can be funny. I think part of this is because of their innocence. If the same verses about wisdom could be applied to a sense of humor, I think they would match well. Like this one: But the laughter that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-able, considerate, gentle, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)

Little Mary’s laughter would have been easy, affectionate, kindly, unselfish, and it would have brought others in on the fun because it would never have been hurtful, sarcastic, or triumphant. Her laughter would have been infectious and others would have been swept into her world view for a moment, feeling its’ happy glow.

St. Teresa of Avila had a wonderful sense of humor, as many holy people have. (She said the last thing we need is “gloomy saints!”) Pope Francis is hilarious, and his humor is always humble and inviting. He is a great example of the interior freedom of spiritual childhood that leads to a joyful personality.

Since Mary would have been free of pride, self conscious worries, and selfishness, she would have been transparent and authentic, a childlike quality we tend to lose as we grow up. St. Edith Stein said we should be before everyone the way we are before God. This is what Mary did. She had the joyful playfulness to dance when everyone else was solemn–and make them smile!

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Little Mary, gentle, joyful, and humble of heart, make our hearts like your own, that we may reflect the love and life and joy that comes from the freedom of the children of God. 

Imagine Mary as a little girl; innocent, kind and wise. Take her hand and ask her to pray for you.  Think about your life, and what you need the most. Place your concerns in her hands to take to the Father. Know that her heart is love, and that it is filled with tenderness, and open to the Spirit. She does not judge you, but sees you in humility, purity, and simplicity of heart. She sees who you are in God. That is what she sees. Open your heart to her.

Then pray, “Hail Mary…”

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