In November 2014, Mother Agnes Mary of the Sisters of Life sits in a Victorian armchair in the parlor of Villa Maria Guadalupe, speaking to the young women on the most recent discernment retreat. She explains that she is delighted to have met us all, and that she is confident that Christ will be with us no matter where we may go. But then she speaks words of caution.
A former psychologist and professor of psychology, Mother Agnes warns us of seeking our vocation for the wrong reasons. She explains that as we go through life, we pick up and carry various things. Sometimes those things help us, and other times the things we carry drag us into the ground. And when we enter into a vocation, be it religious life or marriage, those around us are left having to carry our baggage with us. She makes it clear that prior to pursuing our vocation, that we must carefully examine our baggage-our scars, our traumas, our prejudices, our fears, our anxieties. And even when we try to let go of our baggage, there is always some that is invisible to us and yet starkly visible to others.
That is when we must begin untying our hearts. We must lay our fears and desires at the hands of the Blessed Mother. We must give up our dreams and plans and allow ourselves to blindly follow Christ. We must pursue a deep vulnerability with Christ and our spouses, entrusting our hands and hearts to our King and the one for whom He created our heart. We cannot untie our hearts by ourselves, however, and so we must entrust the Blessed Mother with the knotted ribbon of our lives.
I have fears and dreams, worries and joys, sufferings and triumphs. I long to be a good wife, yet I fear of failing. I long to be a mother, yet am scared of the possibility of infertility. I long to let go of my anxiety, but my baggage holds me down. I long to love Christ with a perfect love, and yet I find myself struggling each day in my imperfection.
In letting Mary untie my heart, I give her all of these dreams and worries. I give Jesus, through His Mother, my whole self, my whole identity. And I trust, that through her intercession, that the knots that so deeply bind my heart, the knots that cause me my deepest worries and anxieties, the knots that prevent my heart from loving, will be undone.
When I have struggled with forgiveness, when I have been bound up by my own stubbornness, when I have been paralyzed by anxiety, Our Lady Untier of Knots has help to remove the knots that bind my heart. It is one of my favorite images of Our Lady because it helps me to entrust Mary with my life with simplicity and humility. I do not have to name my problems, I do not have to understand my heart, I merely have to go before the Blessed Mother saying, “Mother Mary, look upon this heart that so wants to love your Son and yet loves so little. Remove the knots that prevent me from loving.”
In writing this blog, I hope to explore some of the knots that bind my heart. I hope to explore the struggles of the saints and how they entrusted Mary with their heart. And I hope that you may also come to know your heart more deeply while discovering the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.