Saints in Bushes, God in Clouds, Mary in the Sea
It’s easy for me to see God, and often Mary, The Blessed Mother’s presence in almost anything.
Just ask my son.
One morning on a drive to school, a few weeks back, he was pointing this out to me during a theological discussion. With his devilish grin, half-mocking me, he says, “Mom, you know, you always see saints in bushes.”
We laughed at how he makes light of it, but knowing full well, it is how I see most everything.
And in response to that conversation, I said, “Yes and we know, sometimes I see God in clouds.”
He rolled his eyes in jest as any 16-year-old would.
“Go ahead, make fun of me,” I tell my darling son, “it’s okay with me!”
Because he, my other kids, and most anyone who knows me well knows that I see and find God in all things. I do my best to fix my eyes on God.
I always feel His presence, especially when I encounter dark, rough waters whether in life or when the tide changes and we are out at sea.
It’s easy for me to imagine God as the most talented of great painters with brushes to the canvas in the sky, in the ocean and in the glorious shells. Look at how He gives us the most magnificent masterpiece of beauty that surrounds us in the sky above and the sea below, showing all His Glory.
“For I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, Do not Fear, I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
It’s easy for me to imagine God as that reliable and thoughtful friend reminding me when doubt and fear creep in that I am not alone and that I am brave enough.
He tells me to keep choosing joy over grief and laughter over fear; and that If I am staying in the moment rather than looking behind, I may just see love notes in the sky and in the sea even if the air becomes stormy or that sea sometimes gets too rough.
He’s really good like that. He brings a peace beyond understanding.
Even when my GOoD and Faithful Father shows up, He knows the care and protection of a mother is what I really need. He steps aside and sends His Beloved Mother Mary to wrap her loving and maternal spiritual arms around me.
Follow along as I love to share stories with others when He shows up for me.
When you are suddenly in the channel, the tide changes and you find yourself drifting away from where you are meant to be; a father and mother’s love and protection is what you hope for and precisely what you need.
When a wave comes along unexpectedly turning your kayak upside down, you are thrown headfirst into the water. As you scurry to grab all the things that were tossed all around you, you try to pick up all of the pieces or your belongings that are beginning to float away from you in the vast open sea.
You grab as much as you can so eventually you can piece it all back together and keep your head above water, as you tread in the deep, dark waters.
Sometimes you can barely hang on, so you wait for help to come, and with the nudge of a little friend you pray, “Hail Mary full of grace…” on repeat until your breath becomes too tired, and you just say, “Oh Momma Mary, please show up for me!”
You just trust, keep looking up and patiently wait for the rescue. For a brief moment between the prayers, and the treading somehow you manage for a moment to take in the magnificence and glory that surrounds you in awe of His hand in all of it. Then a peace beyond understanding comes, and you rest in knowing you ARE precisely where you are meant to be.
And after the rescue comes; you are brought back to dry land. While you definitely love the beauty of the water, you are happy to be firmly planted on dry ground and glad you are no longer treading out in the sea. Because in the grand scheme of things, it was only a brief moment —or maybe 20, 30 but who was counting— in time that you were drifting out to sea.
After a little bit of time, you receive a divine message that you were okay all along – a gift to know that even when life throws you out to sea, we can trust in His loving protection is always by my side.
There is a peace beyond understanding.
God is simply good to me like that. He knows my heart sometimes needs a neatly wrapped package to remind me I am His.
As if the answered prayers for the rescue were not enough, He gifts me with neatly wrapped packages to say thank you for trusting in Him and that he is always there loving and protecting me.
The delivery of an item ordered just a few weeks earlier finally arrives on your doorstep; with excitement, open what was delivered. But what you find is far different than what you ordered, but you understand it is just what you need.
Divine intervention, only one can suspect.
The item that you opened was not what you had ordered, but was inscribed in shining gold lettering with the words,
“Stella Maris, Our Lady of the Sea.”
A perfect reminder that His love and protection are always with you – even when waiting to be rescued while drifting out to sea.
So yes, my darling son, I think to myself, “I can see saints in Bushes, God in the clouds, and you can now add I even see Mary in the Sea.”
For this moment in time, this peace beyond understanding has become a much needed beautiful and tranquil sea.
Before receiving the Stella Maris Marian image, I had not heard Mary invoked this title. Stella Maris was divinely gifted to me, rather than the painting of Our Lady of Assumption, which had been initially ordered from the precious and talented artist at Bleu Poppy. I felt compelled to research the meaning of Stella Maris when it showed up instead of the other given our recent moment drifting from land into the Gulf of Mexico back in June.
Stella Maris is Latin for “star of the sea.” It is an ancient title for the Virgin Mary that came to be sometime in the 5th century because of an error in translation by St. Jerome. Seafarers have called upon Mary under the name Stella Maris for centuries. For many, Mary has been identified as the “calmer of storms,” not just for those who work on water, but for those who may have to weather storms in their lives as seen in the words of St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
He said, “If the winds of temptation arise; If you are driven upon the rocks of tribulation, look to the star, call on Mary; If you are tossed upon the waves… call on Mary. Should anger, or avarice, or fleshly desire violently assail the frail vessel of your soul, look at the star, call upon Mary.”
As stated on the website Women of Grace, “Mary, Star of the Sea…as the spiritual mother of all God’s children, she guides us and intercedes for us throughout the sea of our life until we finally arrive at heaven’s safe harbor.”
I invite you to think about the sea you are traveling through where Stella Maris may guide and navigate you towards Heaven’s safe harbor.
- Our Patron Saints | Stella Maris FNE. http://stellamarisfne.org/about/saints/
- Do You Know Why Catholics Call Mary ‘Stella Maris’?. https://epicpew.com/hail-bright-star-ocean-ave-stella-maris/
- Star of the Sea (Stella Maris) – Feast Day, September 27 …. https://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=14132