Photo was taken yesterday in the Prayer Room/Chapel at St Dominics Retreat House, Ennismore, Cork (Irl)

This beautiful painting of Mary is particularly eye catching. It is also very appropriate for Mary’s feast day which is celebrated today – Dec 8th The feast of the Immaculate Conception –

Thought on Monday – December – 08/12/2014

‘From Mary we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone.’ ~Pope John Paul II

For some today is when the real countdown to Christmas begins. Today’s feast day of the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8th) was traditionally a day when the Christmas shopping officially began. It may seem just like any other day but it is still a special day during the month of December. Spiritually it is recognition of Mary’s lack of flaws and weaknesses. In fact she had none. It marks Mary out as someone special as the mother of Jesus but it doesn’t mark her out as removed or distant from us. Like us she experienced the fragility of life and experienced many unexpected and difficult moments in her life. But at all times she put her trust in God. This is the challenge for us. Where would the world be if everyone just thought of themselves independent of others and of God? In all the complexities of life and the world we live in, we too are invited to put our trust in God. Today’s feast day is a reminder that we will not be disappointed when we do so and it is also a day to ask Mary’s many blessings on each of us.