Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mary-Likeness Poem-Prayer

This is a copy similar to what I was given soon after I was confirmed in the Catholic Church.  Being open to and accepting Mary as a person and in her role as the Mother of God, as well as guiding me as a mother her child, was perhaps the most fearful aspect of my conversion due to negative bias passed on in my upbringing.

While this poem is ideal and pious, I also have read and will continue to read other persons' experiences and thoughts on Mary.  Perhaps most importantly, I desire to have a more personal and real relationship with Mary.  I have never quite understood some women's  (religious sisters, too) desire for greater position, prestige and power in the Church.  What woman had and still has all these and more, than Mary?  Yet she never desired nor demanded such.  

Some may say it was the culture in which she lived when on earth, and now is different.  When getting to know Mary after years of only considering her on Christmas Day, I opened up to Mary.  I asked her to be my mother in a different and additional way than my loving, earthly mother.  

At the time of conversion, I lived across the road from where Ven. Fr. Solanus Casey spent ten years of his life.  He loved reading Ven. Agreda's writings, "The Mystical City of God."  I did so, also, and would walk in the woods Fr. Solanus had walked, and I opened myself to Jesus' mother.  It is time to do so yet more.  This poem-prayer is sweet and simple.


Mary-like in soul and body!
Mary-like in mind and heart!
Mary-like in every action –
Child of God, how fair thou art!
Fair to Christ and all His angels,
Fair to earth since thou art seen
To be like her – like MARY
Earth’s and Heaven’s fairest Queen.
Mary-like in soul! What beauty
When thy soul is full of grace!
What a Mary-smile will greet thee
When thou’lt meet her face to face!
Mary-like in body! Keeping
All the senses in control;
Looks and bearing both revealing
A Mary-temple for thy soul.

Mary-like in mind and memory!
Sinful thoughts and fancies flee;
Idle dreams and selfish musings
Find no place, fair child, in thee.
For the Mary-mind is lifted
From all sordid thoughts to live
On the high and noble promptings
That a Mary-soul would give.

Mary-like in thy affections,
Loving all, excluding none –
Loving, as you think our Lady
Ever faithful, would have done;
Mary-like in every action
In enjoyment, work or prayer,
Watching Mary, copying Mary,
Loving Mary, everywhere.

Mayst thou catch her gentle manner,
And her calm and queenly ways,
Mayst thou learn her art of bearing
Words of censure or of praise;
Mayst thou learn the hidden secret
Of her smile, so kind, so true,
Which reflects the radiant beauty
Of her pure soul gleaming through.

In a word, may all the greatness,
All the sweetness of her ways,
All the inner grace and beauty,
Heaven and earth delight to praise,
Find their likeness in thine own soul
Child of Mary, as thou art,
Making these more like thy mother,
Ever dearer to her heart.

Night and day, in joy and sorrow,
Night and day, ’neath crushing care,
Ask of Christ true Mary-likeness,
Through the year be this thy prayer,
Christ will hear, and Christ will answer
If thy pleading but ring true,
“JESUS, make me just like MARY,
MARY, make me just like YOU.”

Nihil Obstat
Joseph R. Casey
Censor Deputatus
April 11, 1941
Source: Louis W. Bernicken, Box 413 -- Mt. Vernon, Ohio.

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