In his most recent Viewpoint column, Msgr. Francis Mannion calls “Mary Undoer of Knots” (Maria Knotenlöserin) the “best new papal Marian devotion.” In the days of passing from 2013 to 2014, members of the Pray Tell family are sharing what particular knots they hope Our Lady can help untie in 2014. (See earlier submissions by Paul Ford and Paul Inwood and by Diana Macalintal and by Peter Rehwaldt and Teresa Berger.) Today, on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, we conclude the series with a guest post by Bernadette Gasslein, editor of Worship magazine, which offers a “decade” of prayers to Mary.
Mary, undoer of knots, help us break the knot of fear: it strangles the hearts of children who live daily with gunfire on their streets; of women who endure rape in war-torn cities and countrysides; of starving men and women who watch their children grow hungrier each day; of soldiers, aid workers and first responders whose daily battle with PTSD haunts their waking hours and turns their dreams into nightmares.
Mary, undoer of knots, help us untie the knot of addictions that consume persons and families: addictions to alcohol, drugs, sex, spending, work, food.
Mary, undoer of knots, help us unbind the knot of illiteracy and lack of education, particularly for women and girls.
Mary, undoer of knots, help us untie the knot of hiding. So many of my brothers and sisters are hiding: the divorced and remarried couples who have succumbed to their longing for Eucharist and dare not divulge their status; the gay and lesbian persons who are frightened that someone will out them in a community that doesn’t know what to make of them; the women who fear even to discuss their call to orders.
Mary, undoer of knots, help us untie the knot of distrust that erodes global and intimate relationships, and alienates friends, spouses, parents and children, pastors and people, leaders of communities and their constituencies.
Mary, undoer of knots, help us untie the knots of illness, physical and mental, that afflict so many in our communities.
Mary, undoer of knots, help us untie the knots of homelessness and poverty, of despair, and meaninglessness. Help us re-weave the broken bonds that lead to loneliness and isolation.
Mary, undoer of knots, help us untie the knots of dispossession and loss of identity that are destroying the aboriginal people of my land.
Mary, undoer of knots, help us untie the knots of excommunication: of thoughtful people, young and old, who must hide their questions about the status quo – be it religious or political – lest they be shunned; the women and men who have had abortions and cannot speak their reality lest they be ostracized; of those whose actions make them fear that they are beyond God’s mercy and ours.
Mary, undoer of knots, help us untie the knot of consumerism that distorts our desire for God and for each other.