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)
St. Anne, Mother of Mary: As my pregnancy progressed, we prayed more about her name. We knew she should be named for a relative, and that we should give her a name of one of the Mothers of Israel. At first I was thinking of Mother Sarah. Or maybe Deborah, Judith or Queen Esther, women who saved the Jewish people by their courage and trust in God.
But the name that kept coming up for both of us was Miriam. *(Hebrew for Mary) So many girls were named Miriam. There were several relatives to choose from with that name. It was an ancient name that reminded us of our deliverance from slavery in Egypt. It meant so many things. It could mean “bitter.” It could mean, “myrrh” which we used for a healing balm or as an incense. It could mean, “love.”
We knew Miriam was the right name when we talked about it. The Prophetess Miriam. What was God telling us about our child? “Hannah,” ** (“Anne” in Hebrew) my husband would say, “we must be living at a very special time, truly.”
I had the song of Moses and Miriam committed to heart, as did my husband, Joachim. Really, we couldn’t get it out of our heads. Holding hands we sang it in the darkness before we drifted off to sleep, the song of our deliverance through the Red Sea. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord compelled us.
And Miriam called to them:
Sing to God…”
Even little Mary’s name was a promise from God.
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…”