knot a problem…anymore.

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I’m still suffering from a Pope-Hangover.

For five days we immersed ourselves in all things “Papa” and “Faith.”

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But now life is glossed-over. A clear-film of joy covers over each day.

And I feel this is a very good thing!

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I am enjoying this somewhat detached manner of living from the chaos the world often has to offer.  The problems in my life are still present, yet somehow they are no longer problems; but rather simply…difficulties.  And those are much more manageable, don’t you think?

This transition from problem to difficulty came through my visit to the Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto established for Pope Francis’ participation in The World Meeting of Families. (Be sure to see the Pope’s visit to this lovely Groto on his final travels through the streets of Philadelphia on their web-site!)

A wonderful tribute, not only to this beautiful devotion to the Blessed Mother, Mary who was the undoer of the sin of Eve;

“Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it.” 

 but also to bring awareness to hunger & homelessness in America.

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But what are these knots? They are the problems and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution.  Throughout time and across all cultures, a knot has been used to symbolize tension and struggle. The undoing of a knot symbolizes freedom from these burdens – a release of pressure. In the tradition of Mary, Undoer of Knots, Pope Francis’ favorite artwork, visitors of the grotto were able to add or remove knots, symbolizing their personal struggles and sharing the burdens of others.

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And I know from the power of prayer & personal experience, many pilgrims returned home with knot as many problems…anymore.

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Leaving prayer intentions to be placed into the hands of Mary.
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Pope Francis does have a special devotion to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. While studying in Germany in the 1980s, he discovered this devotion at the Church of St. Peter am Perlach in Augsburg.
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My own Mary, Undoer of Knots which hangs in my sewing-corner.

“Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life. You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the Evil One himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands, there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with your Son and my liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot. (Mention your petition here.)

I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all. You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, O safe refuge.”

hugs n’ blessings to all who trust their knots to be undone.

“Let them come to me…”

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Held every three years and sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family, the World Meeting of Families is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families. Each World Meeting of Families has a theme that energizes and enlivens the event while adding great depth of meaning to our understanding of families. The theme of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” emphasizing the impact of the love and life of families on our society.  Since its inception by Saint John Paul II in 1994, the World Meeting of Families has strengthened the sacred bonds of families across the globe.

On June 30th, 2015, the Vatican released the comprehensive itinerary for Pope Francis’ journey to the United States, including his schedule for Philadelphia on September 26-27, which will close the 6-day Apostolic Journey.  And ever-since that day I, (along with millions of others) have anticipated his arrival.  I am still pinchity-pinching myself that I will be there!

Call me a fanatic,  Jesus-freak, (did you know this is described in the urban dictionary???) Pope-stalker, or the likes; but really…it’s not that dramatic nor romantic!  I’m just in awe of my God. I’m in awe of His love for me.  His love for others. And the deep-desire He has to reign down his grace and His mercy upon us.  God can never be outdone in His generosity & as I have opened my heart to Him more & more I have seen this great love FOR US…Every.  Single.  Day.

My enthusiasm for Our Holy Father is rooted in his “YES” to God to lead us in this endeavor.  Pope Francis’ trust in God, strengthens my trust in him and in my Church.  He leads me, guides me, & reminds me what the Gospels teach.  I am grateful for the courage he embraces to be challenged, mocked, judged, and ridiculed for this trust in a God he knows intimately.  And I am inspired that Pope Francis encourages, invites, and WELCOMES everyone to partake in this same unconditional love our Heavenly Father offers, as we place our trust in Him.  The Pope reminds each of us: we are ALL sinners, himself included, BUT that Jesus stands AT the door of our hearts & knocks.  However, WE must open the door!!  The door-handle is ours to hold, to turn, to open.  And I pray, if it hasn’t already been done, countless people, through the blessings of the Holy Father’s visit,  find themselves pulling open the door which separates them from receiving God’s great love for them.  This is what Christs’ vicar is showing us how to do in his papacy and I am so grateful…I cannot wait to be in Philly so I may tell him so!

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Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto Philadelphia, Pa
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Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto Philadelphia, Pa
Exactly how will I tell him??? (I promise not to break any security-breeches in my endeavor.) Through my prayers, of course!  My participation in this pilgrimage will be encased in prayers.  All forms of prayer!  Prayers of sacrifice & fasting.  Prayers of gratitude, intentions & petitions.  (To discover the difference between the two click on the link.)  And I am collecting all forms from anyone who desires me to include theirs with mine.  I will offer them at the final Papal Mass or if I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit the Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto in Philly I promise to “tie” your prayers to this special location.

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My first prayer, after delivering all the others brought from each of you, will be as I said earlier, my gratitude.  However, my biggest prayer is inspired by the tender-little-one shown below.  Her message tugs at my heart for personal reasons.  And her message is so very poignant to what the theme for The World Meetings of Families is all about…LOVE IS OUR MISSION.   May it remain a theme in our lives forever…for the sake of our families…for the sake of one another.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

hugs n’ blessings to all the little-ones who: “try to do my best in my heart.”  

So that everyone can smile…