When we consider the earthly life of Our Blessed Lady, we are
struck by Her attention to the marvelous ways in which God was
moving in Her and around Her. Mary possessed a delicate soul
that considered carefully what the Lord was doing in Her midst
(see Saint Luke 2:19, 51).
Our Blessed Mother’s prayer was steadfast. What is “steadfast
prayer”? Let us ponder each word.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, the adjective
“steadfast” has two meanings: 1.) immovable; 2.) loyal. An apt
synonym for steadfast is “faithful.”
Seemingly there is an almost countless number of definitions of
“prayer.” A very helpful and disarmingly simple one is easily
stated: “communication with God.”
Therefore, one who is immersed in steadfast prayer is faithful
in listening and speaking to the Lord. The person will not be
deterred because of weariness or what appears to be discouraging
results from his prayer.
Now it is easy to see how the phrase steadfast prayer applies to
Our Blessed Mother. She was loyal in Her contemplation of God
and all things divine. Not only did She spend innumerable hours
in prayer but She also surrendered Herself completely to every
period given to meditation. In other words, Her prayer was
intense; it did not waver. Her desire to pray never slackened .
. . She fixed Her will firmly on the path of prayer. Her Will
There is a troubling current today that has gained adherents in
some circles—in Religious Life and elsewhere—whose mentality is
expressed in the declaration: “My work is my prayer.” Often this
assertion signifies that instead of parceling out moments for
prayer during the day, one rather counts his apostolic work,
which, sadly, may even push aside time necessary for prayer, as
being his communication with God.
This attitude is erroneous and eventually harmful for the soul.
True, our labors are to be like the incense rising to our loving
Creator in praise and gratitude. Yet, each of us requires time
daily earmarked specifically for prayer in which we hear His
voice and respond without attending simultaneously to any other
concerns—noble as they may be.
No human person worked with so much diligence as Our Blessed
Lady. But no human person ever prayed as much and so devoutly as
She did. Yes, She made Her work Her prayer. Yet, She still
designated long periods to communicating with Her Lord.
To the end of Her life here on earth, the Ever-Virgin persevered
in prayer. And now in Heaven, She continues with unceasing
prayer for us and our intentions.
May we, like Mary, be steadfast in prayer? Yes! We can be loyal
in prayer like Our Blessed Lady. Our intention to pray, like
Hers, can be unshakeable. And when we pray, we can yield
ourselves entirely to our conversation with God. We can avoid
the fallacy of regularly omitting our prayer under the banner of
engaging in work, even if becoming and legitimate.
Like Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Blessed Mary is our model
in prayer. In Paradise She prays for us. On earth we pray that
the Everlasting Life that She knows now in Heaven will be ours,
too. At Fatima in 1917, Our Blessed Mother told little Francisco
Marto (1908-1919) that he must pray many Holy Rosaries before
reaching Paradise. He accepted the kind, maternal challenge to
pray much and devoutly. Will we?
(Originally published in the June 2007 issue of the “Missio
Immaculatae International” [English edition], page seven. Used