RCIA lesson 3 Church Hierarchy, Papal Infallibility, Magisterium, Mary and the Saints

The lesson includes some Bible passages: Matthew 16, 1 Timothy 3:14-15, information from the Catechism CCC 85,890,2033. The questions answered here are from Journey of Faith about Mary and the Saints.

Describe someone you know whom you would consider to be “holy”. Karen, my facilitator partner. Karen is a lay Carmelite (25 years). That means she prays twice a day, meditates every day and attends daily Mass as often as possible. She spends an hour every week in the Adoration Chapel. She is a kind person. I have never seen her angry or heard a hurtful word from her.

How has this person affected your life? She is a role model for me.

What pictures of people do you carry in your wallet? My daughter

Why do you carry those pictures around? I love her.

Saint whom I chose –  Bernadette of Lourdes

Is there something you find inspiring about that saints life? Mary came to her and asked her to do something for her. Bernadette obeyed even though she didn’t understand and people made fun of her. Bernadette’s life was like Mary, in that she was open to God’s working in her life, no matter what course it took. She said “yes” as Mary did and lived out life as God wished her to live it.

Have you ever asked anyone to pray for you when you were having a hard time? If so, why did you choose that person? Yes, the people I choose are people of prayer.

What would I be a patron saint of? I don’t know

What would you have to do to be open to God making you a saint? I am trying.

Think of an extraordinary woman who has affected your life. Who was she and why has she been important to you? Maisi Sirois, for her amazing creative talent, for her willingness to try new things, for her acceptance of me. I think also of my mom, of the life that she led. While she was alive I really didn’t understand. Now that she is gone, I understand more about the choices she made.

Look up these Scripture passages about Mary. What one quality of Mary do you admire in each passage?

1. Luke 1:26-38 Annunciation – That she recognized that the message came from God and that she was willing to do whatever He asked, no matter the cost. A woman of great courage and convictions who loved God.

2. Luke 1:39-56 Visitation – I have thought about this a lot. Mary’s generosity in visiting her elder cousin, perhaps being of assistance to her. Did Elizabeth also receive a visit from an angel or a message from the Lord announcing that Mary would be the one to carry Christ? By this time (when Luke interviewed Mary) Elizabeth was deceased, so there was no way to know. Besides the story was about Jesus not about John.

3. John 2:1-12 Wedding at Cana – Mary’s confidence that God would answer her request. I have thought about this event quite a bit as well. Perhaps the couple to be married or one or more of their parents were friends of Mary or Joseph. She was there at the wedding helping to serve the guests. Mary would know when the wine was running out. Mary could enter into the feelings of the married couple, feel their pain and embarrassment should the wine run out. So naturally Mary wanted to help stave off the embarrassment.

4. John 19:25-27 – Standing by the Cross – True devastation, sorrow, pain for her Son, disbelief that people could want to hurt Him so, wanting to spend every last minute with Him no matter the cost – as at His conception she was willing to accept the cost, not even thinking about herself, about what she would do to live.

How could you imitate one of Mary’s qualities in your life? Visiting the sick or elderly which I have done, writing to Aunt Mary, Lucy or others who are alone and ill, trying to accept what God asks of me no matter the cost to myself – not an easy task which I struggle with every day. Some days I am able to do those things, some days not.

Mary's home in ephesusWhat do you think life was like for Mary, given what we know about her story, her background, her culture, and her environment? IT was a difficult life, one of great hardships, toil and suffering. By the time Mary and Joseph returned to Nazareth after the birth of Jesus, her parents were deceased. Perhaps they were deceased before then; we just don’t know. Mary had to work every day caring for her family by making their meals, cleaning their home, teaching Jesus and watching over Him as he learned and grew – worried over Him if He were sick or hurt, making and washing their clothing and helping in whatever way Joseph needed. Perhaps she had to secure their food by going to the market, drawing water from the town well and carrying it home each day. She and her family made do with little. She attended synagogue on the Sabbath and prayed each and every day, perhaps all through the day. Perhaps she helped other new mothers give birth, cared for the ill in her community as well. So little is known about her life. Yet we know that outwardly she seemed an ordinary 1st Jewish woman. But she was something altogether amazing.