This post originally appeared on the blog for the Be Love Revolution.

By Emily Messiter

People bring prayer requests to our Blessed Mother at the Lift Jesus Higher Rally in Toronto, Ontario.

It happens every year around the second week of Advent: I find myself slightly overwhelmed by a list of pre-Christmas to-do’s, mixed with a constant buzz in my head of perfect gifts to buy and, oh yes!, final exams and papers and work obligations to complete. The stillness and prayerfulness that marked the beginning of this sacred season fade into a realization that time is flying and, Oh my, we’re near the end of the decade and What am I doing with my life?, But first thing’s first, I need to switch out the laundry! In the midst of this, we are gifted with two special feasts to honor a woman who very much understands: Mary, our Mother.

As I have settled into this time of Advent, in some ways I have been appalled at my own humanity. Call it the excitement of this time of year, or end of semester adrenaline, or December rain, but my normally steady interior state has been anything but. One day I am responding to the invitation to choose joy and encounter Christ in the stillness of my heart; the next I am spinning in a bout of melancholy, running through the laundry list of things I am confused or anxious or stressed about. I want trust in Jesus to make me steady and even-keeled and not so prone to emotional highs and lows, but I am humbly admitting that some days I definitely look more like a ship being tossed about on the waves.

This week in particular, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe are reminding me of the sweet gift it is to have Mary as a Mother, a woman who walked this same earth, who felt feelings, who experienced the greatest joys and the greatest sorrows while entrusting herself totally to the Providence of God. This Advent, and especially this week as we celebrate her feasts, our Mother is inviting us to do the same: amidst everything—both on the days that we are proud of our prayer time or heart of service and on the days when we feel just like a big mess of emotions—to set our hearts on her Son.

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