by Leslea Wahl
One of my favorite passages about our Lady occurs when she is still pregnant and journeys to visit her relative, Elizabeth. When I try to imagine what it was like for Mary, it’s almost too overwhelming to even comprehend. Here she was a teenager who had been chosen to be the mother of our Lord. No pressure there! Not only that, but she was expecting a child and not yet fully married. She must have felt so alone, confused, scorned, worried, and incredibly scared. Who would believe her? This courageous young woman had the faith to say “yes” to God’s calling, but she had no one to turn to for support. No friends or family who would understand.
However, the moment Elizabeth sees Mary, all that changes. Elizabeth knows! She knows and understands all that Mary has been unable to share with anyone. I can’t imagine what a relief this must have been for our blessed Mother. I’m sure this beautiful relationship was an enormous blessing to both women. They both were going through something so incredible, and now they finally had someone who understood. This was more than an ordinary friendship. After all, Elizabeth was not Mary’s peer. Elizabeth was much older. I think of Elizabeth as more of a confidant, a mentor.
Part of the reason I love this passage is because it is so relevant to our lives. Who doesn’t want a trusted friend to turn to when we are confused and searching for advice? But sometimes, as much as a good friend wants to help, they just can’t. They don’t have the knowledge base to give advice, or they are too close to us to provide unbiased direction. Sometimes we need an Elizabeth. We need someone who not only understands and believes in us but can also guide us and mentor us.
I’ve been blessed with numerous mentors that have made a huge difference in my life. I have had a few spiritual mentors who have helped me grow in my faith and even guided me as I became Catholic. I’ve also had mentors in my professional life. In fact, without a mentor to guide my writing, I’m not sure I ever would have become a published author. My friends and family could be supportive in these areas, but they couldn’t offer the advice I truly needed.
A mentor can provide the confidence you might need when facing a difficulty or considering a new venture. A mentor might be someone you can confide in when no one else seems to understand. Sometimes mentors can be family members, like in Mary’s case, or sometimes they are a friend, a teacher, or a coach. If you are searching for a mentor, but you’re not sure that you have someone like that in your life, pray about it. God will provide exactly what you need. And while God guides you to such a person, do you know what’s really amazing? You already have a trusted friend that is wanting the best for you. Mary! We can always confide in her. She loves us, and she will always be our advocate to her son. Just as she was able to turn to Elizabeth, we can now turn to her.
Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life,
form yourself in me,
that I may see with your eyes,
smile with your smile,
and love with your heart.
Mary, our Mother, Teacher, and Queen,
pray for us.