Each of us experiences seasons in of life – beginning with joy at our conception, to the glorious gasp at our final breath, and in between valuable moments of mystery and sorrow, as we read in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3:

“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.”

I believe that when we accept each season as it comes and offer that season to the Blessed Virgin Mary, we can know real peace. Regardless of what is going on, I have found that when I place my trust in God and my seasons to his mother, I am filled with a peace that surpasses all understanding. In fact, according to Vatican II: “Everyone should have a genuine devotion to Mary and entrust his life to her motherly care.”

What is the season you are engaged in right now? Have you started a new job or are you unemployed? Are you raising a family? Are you caring for a sick loved one or being cared for due to illness? Maybe the children are all grown and now you are redefining yourself? Have you retired and now are you redesigning your daily routine? Are you newly married, has a loved one recently died or are you facing separation or divorce? These are just a few of our seasons.

I suggest we learn from Our Blessed Mother that we too have hope in receiving the gift of Eternal Life if we simply entrust ourselves to her maternal care. As Pope Benedict XVI said during a general audience in 2006:

“We may be sure of it, from on high, Mary follows our footsteps with gentle concern, dispels the gloom in moments of darkness and distress, reassures us with her motherly hand.”

Mary, just like all of us, has lived through many seasons of life. She rejoiced with the angels at the birth of her son, she was anxious at the temporary loss of her 12-year old boy, and she stood sorrowfully at the foot of the cross. Mary understands the seasons we undergo yet is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth; her viewpoint over our lives is unique and she offers powerful intercession.

It was during a quiet time of transition, after leaving a career of 18 years as a Catholic radio host, that I found comfort in the arms of Mary while visiting the Chapel of Mary at the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother (The Grotto) in Portland. Above the altar is a most impressive mural of the Coronation of Mary with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit crowning her, surrounded by a choir of angels. I thought to myself, Mary has had her own transition in life just like me. After the death and resurrection of her son Jesus, she was a source of strength to the members of the early church. Sacred Scripture tells us that Mary the mother of Jesus was present at Pentecost in the upper room and we can only imagine the stories she must have shared with the apostles about her own life and the life of their master and savior. 

As I reflect on the role Mary received as mother of the Church, I realize she entered into a new season of life, and so I in my new season must find hope and live with joy.

We can find courage in the message given to the faithful by Pope Benedict XVI as he celebrated the feast of the Assumption in 2006:

“We must not lose our serenity and peace even amid the thousands of daily difficulties. The luminous sign of Our Lady taken up into Heaven shines out even more brightly when sad shadows of suffering and violence seem to loom on the horizon…let us continue confidently on our path of Christian commitment wherever Providence may lead us. Let us forge ahead in our lives under Mary's guidance.”

Even if our lives seem out of control and we are bombarded with distractions that seek to throw us off course and tempt us to despair, we can trust that with each new season comes a layer of grace, if only we are willing to ask for it and “childlike” enough to receive it. Whether it’s a season of suffering or rejoicing, I pray you will entrust your season to the Blessed Virgin Mary and welcome her intercession and motherly love. May all God’s children on the intrepid journey to their heavenly home find solace as they confide in Mary, the mother of God.

Hale is a Catholic speaker from western Oregon.