She Pondered These Things in Her Heart
I don’t know about you, but… I like to talk. Especially if it is about a problem I am having, a challenge I am facing, something I am struggling with… you get the idea. The solidarity of having someone else say, “Oh yes, that is hard for me too!” somehow offers a sense of comfort and companionship when things are tough. And on the flip side, when someone I know is pouring out their troubles, I am often quick to offer advice or share my similar experiences.
But over the past several years, I’ve found the phrase, “She pondered these things in her heart,” echoing often in my mind. We are told that this is what our Blessed Mother Mary did following the birth of Jesus, her Son, as she experienced all the strange and wonderful happenings that accompanied his being brought forth into the world (Luke 2:19). We often want to share our joys as well, but isn’t it human nature to especially want others to commiserate in our sorrows and struggles? I know that for me, this is true. Sometimes the urge to vent to someone (anyone!) is so strong, and I’ll be ready to pull out my phone and dash off an impassioned text message to a friend, my spouse, or a family member, or to post a long complaint soliciting advice from others in an online group or social media thread, but then I suddenly recall those words, “She pondered these things in her heart.” And it prompts me to pause and to think beyond whatever emotion I may be feeling or whatever blow to my pride I may be. It has been a slow realization (and I still don’t always resist the temptation to reach out to anyone who will listen), but I am learning that there is One who is always ready listen, and who wants to be the first person that I bring my sorrows and joys to: the Lord. Mary, as always, shows us the way to him. By treasuring and pondering in her heart, Mary made space in silence for the Lord’s revelation in her life. Do we do the same?
This isn’t to say that there isn’t value in seeking wise counsel from others, or that we should never share what we are struggling with. We are meant to help each other through this life, and there are very good and prudent reasons we should be open and honest with others about the things we are facing in our lives. But when I hear, “She pondered these things in her heart,” echoing in my mind, I am reminded to ask myself, “Who am I turning to first?” Am I looking for validation from other people—or am I creating space in the silence of my heart to allow the Lord to speak to me in every situation? Am I churning up my sense of discouragement and anxiety by constantly replaying and analyzing everything with others—or am I allowing the peace of Christ to cover and carry me?
Pondering Leads to Peace
There is a gentleness to the idea of “pondering” that I want in my own life, and that I believe the Lord wants for each of us. The Scriptures do not say, “Mary held tightly onto all these things and worried about them, until they made her feel as though she would burst from the strain.” We know that Mary experienced deep sorrow in her life, as we have been reflecting on this month, with many of us joining Shannon and other Chews Life team members to pray the Chaplet of Seven Sorrows together. But we also know that Mary’s deep trust in God, her Savior, allowed her to bear these sufferings with grace and peace. If we hope for the same in our lives, we might learn from her to talk less… ponder more.
Every year, we launch four exclusive seasonal collections. These products are made “small batch” style, and unlike our classic products, that are permanently in our production cycle, seasonal collections don’t get restocked. This fall, our seasonal collection is inspired by great saints who were no strangers to suffering, yet whose hope in Christ surpassed their struggles: Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Joseph of Cupertino [linkto: blog post or product page], and Ven. Mary Agreda . You can see all of the Fall Collection products on this page here.
We hope these beautiful, limited edition Rosaries and bracelets aid you in your prayer life and opening your heart to the peace and love that Christ wants to pour in! But don’t wait—they won’t be here long!