More Knots to Untie

In his most recent Viewpoint column, Msgr. Francis Mannion calls “Mary Undoer of Knots” (Maria Knotenlöserin) the “best new papal Marian devotion.” In the waning days of 2013, members of the Pray Tell family are sharing what particular knots they hope Our Lady can help untie in 2014. (See yesterday’s submissions by Paul Ford and Paul Inwood here.)  Today Diana Macalintal writes.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, untie the knot of “we’ve never done it before” that keeps us stunted, defensive, and joyless:

  • We’ve never prayed in that language.
  • We’ve never sung that kind of music.
  • We’ve never eaten with these people.
  • We’ve never let those people in.
  • We’ve never made these people leaders.
  • We’ve never done it that way before.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, show us the way where we see no way out, no way in, and no way through the knots of:

  • Not here
  • Not them
  • Not in our church
  • Not in my backyard
  • Not you
  • Not me
  • Not that

We, by our disobedience, complacency, and small-mindedness, have tied the knot of “nots” for the human race; whereas you, Mary, Undoer of Knots, by your obedience, courage, and creativity, undid it with your “yes.”

– Diana Macalintal


  1. Lovely.

    On the same note, I too pray to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, to help untie that knot of ever-persistent prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry that still pervade the minds and hearts of of many, often in the name of morality no less, so that the Church may truly become a home for everyone, regardless of how different one is from another.

  2. Thanks for the introduction to this novel metaphor for Our Lady, which I’d never encountered before. I’ll confess, though, that I have a ways to go before sharing Monsignor Mannion’s endorsement of it as the “best new papal Marian devotion.”

    Personally, it seems to have only limited application, given the goodness and beauty I’ve seen in a countless variety of properly dressed knots (and to which many traditions through the ages have even attributed a spiritual significance).

    It would speak more deeply to me perhaps if the title were something like “Mary, Undoer Of The Tangled Messes We Make And Would Like To Pass Off As True Knots.”

    Or, better yet maybe, “Mary, Maker Of The Blessed Ties Which Bind”.

    In this vein, the angel holding the unfouled line seems to say, “She’s done it again, what are you going to do with it this time?”

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