Tag Archives: Mary

If you are Catholic and it’s the month of May…

It’s all about Mary. IMG_5096

She has many titles…Blessed Mother, Woman Clothed with the Sun, Queen of Angels…

Marian feasts originate ultimately or primarily by ecclesial decision. The Church decides whether they should be local, regional or universal, and what degree of solemnity should be attributed to them (solemnity, feast, memorial) depending on the importance of the theme celebrated.There are universal Marian feast days…the Immaculate Conception feast, the Assumption feast, the Solemnity feast. And there are local feasts. You can celebrate some virtue of Mary every day of the year!

People’s love of Mary has resulted in probably thousands of prayers written to her the most familiar being the Hail Mary, of which the meditative repetition of comprises the Rosary given to the Church in 1214 by St. Dominic.

Artists have been creating images of Mary for two thousand years and she is represented numerous nationalities and races attesting to her role as “mother of all” as a gift from her son, Jesus Christ.

May procession

 

And, last but not least, who can forget the May procession?! I LOVED getting dressed up for this day at my Catholic grade school and bringing clippings of bright purple azaleas and iris from my mother’s garden to carry in the  procession and leave at the foot of the statue of Mary in front of our church.

What ever you decide to do to honor Mary this month, make it special. For yourself. For your children. And for her son, our Lord, Jesus Christ

 

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

Women Too Scared to Speak?…NOT

My feeble journey on a hopeful path to holiness has led me to some interesting places over Pricillathe past year. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a talker. I love to talk to people and learn about them. But mostly I love to use my voice to bring them to the Lord. You need your voice sometimes to evangelize.

Over the years, I have dipped my toes into public speaking, a talent forcibly developed when Sr. Agneta had me enter the Optimist Club speaking contest back in the early 1970’s. I was SCARED TO DEATH. Until I realized when we were practicing that I could just take off my glasses and couldn’t see the millions  dozens of people in the audience! It took me a few other experiences after that through high school, but I found I didn’t mind it at all.

An article from the Washington Post in October 2014, listed public speaking as the top fear of 25% of Americans…if you ask your friends if they would rather eat bugs or speak in public, they would eat the bugs.

Mary MagdaleneSo, I thought when it comes to evangelization, I could handle it. Not so easy though.
Of course I can stand up in front of a group of nice Catholics and talk about my walk with Christ, about my failings and his saving me from myself. BUT, as I recently learned, it’s not so thrilling to present the same to an audience not expecting to hear that kind of story. The words just seem to stick in my throat.

I found this out when this Spring I participated in two such events. One was the culmination of a writing project through Heal My Voice and another, an invitation to present to the Business and Professional Women of Maryland. Neither of these were related to spirituality. But, my faith life is closely intertwined with my professional life as a pastoral counselor. So What Would Jesus Do?

I spoke. I had to clear my throat a few times as my heart was lodged there.

What happened? At both events, women came up to me and connected to me through their own experience of being afraid to speak about their faith. They use words like “inspired” and “refreshed”. They talked about being more free to spread their own stories of faith!

Using our voices openly is supported by the Scriptures, in Ephesians Chapter 4, we are toldLydiaeach of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift‘ and ‘speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ’.

Consider all of the women in the New Testament. Mary, the Mother of Christ, Mary Magdalene, the four daughters of Phillip the Evangelist, Pricilla, and Phoebe. They were not afraid. They had the love and mercy of Christ giving them courage!

Is this not the radical Christ presence? Be not afraid. Do not hold your tongue. Share the love and mercy of Christ. You will probably find you are not alone, you may find some new friends, and you may bring them to Christ!

May the peace of Christ be with you on your journey.

 

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

Poisons purged…

As I continue to participate in the Heal My Voice project on Feminine Leadership lead by Andrea Hylen, what I expected to write about is 180 degrees different from what I am writing about out of  my soul. She warned us about this!

Moving toward a new way of working with Catholic women brought with it the realization poison bottleof actually preparing for leadership. Not getting lessons, webinars, newsletters, and articles ready. Not marketing strategies.

Inside preparation. Soul readiness. It’s WAY harder. Painful, deep…Purging. Realizing patterns of thinking and behavior that serve only to keep me stuck in a place where Christ cannot be effective through my work and my passion.

It is a surprising place to be after committing to a much deeper connection to God over the past year. We usually expect to be in a more wonderful “happy place” as a result of this daily dedication. Don’t get me wrong. Life has certainly been the beneficiary of many, many gifts of blessings and joy. BUT (and my husband will laugh at this…), “I did not want this!”

This place of purging IS a gift. It feels grown up and responsible and capable of  being the woman God sent me here to be in this time in our Earthly history. It feels like it is a completion of years of nagging little pains, memories, behaviors, and false beliefs. It feels like the strongbox holding all of this is exploding open instead of its contents oozing out into my consciousness like a poison to my soul.

Beautiful maryMy poisons are being revealed. The antidote is Christ. The balm is his blessed mother, Mary.

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!