This stained glass window of Mary is in the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

When we gather for Eucharistic liturgy on January 1, we will celebrate the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. How appropriate to keep her in our view as we begin a new year! She has been our companion all during the Advent season, and she certainly has been at the center of our attention as we heard the Christmas scriptures, visited the crèches in our parishes, and gazed at our own nativity sets in our homes.

Mary, as we have been taught since childhood, understands and loves us. In her lifelong fidelity to the God of Providence, she walked the path God traced for her and thereby became a woman who knew the fullness of God’s love and that love’s endless, flowing energy available to her, to us.

We Sisters of Providence and our Providence Associates have a special fondness for the Mother of God under the title Our Lady of Providence. The shrine of Our Lady of Providence here at St. Mary-of-the-Woods is a cherished place of prayer. Providence Spirituality and Conference Center staff daily gathers at the shrine to pray for all the intentions entrusted to Mary, Our Lady of Providence. Our website displays several prayers composed to her for different needs and occasions. One of my favorites is this one:

Remember, O most faithful Lady of Providence,
that you have been given to us by your Son to be our mother.
We entrust to you our labors; bless them.
We commend to you our needs; supply them.
Show for us the same concern you manifested at Cana,
for we trust that whatever you ask of your Son will be done.
Pray for us on our pilgrimage that we may share
the faith and hope that marked your life.
Full of confidence in your power before God,
we place ourselves, our loved ones and all our petitions
in your providential care. Amen.

What a fitting prayer to begin the New Year of 2013! Perhaps we could make the New Year’s resolution to pray this prayer daily during the coming year! In so doing, I believe we would find ourselves enveloped in Mary’s maternal love — in God’s maternal love!

All the Sisters of Providence send you and all you love our wishes for a very happy New Year! You are in our daily prayer; please keep all of us in yours!