The last person most people would seek dating help from is their mother, and not many of us would consider that the Blessed Mother should be at the center of our dating life. But I have discovered that the Queen of Hearts, the Virgin Mary, can be of great assistance in the cold, hard world of dating if we allow her. It seems fitting, as the month we dedicate to Mary draws to a close, to share my thoughts with you.
Mary is the best model for women while dating. She is obedient to God, patient, chaste, loving to all, generous of her gifts, time and resources and strong. Men should be seeking women who strive to be like Mary in all ways. Women should be seeking out her assistance in becoming a woman like her.
Mary has a vested interest in seeing beautiful weddings happen. She was a guest at the wedding feast at Cana. How horrible it would have been for the newly married couple if the scandal of running out of wine had hung over their day! Not the best way to start a life together.
She instructed the wine stewards to “Do whatever He tells you.” Jesus could not refuse His Mother’s request. This was Jesus’ first miracle. Some of us feel it may take a miracle to find our love of a lifetime.
Ask and it shall be given
There are two lessons from the story of the wedding feast at Cana: go to Mother Mary with your request for a spouse and ask her to petition her Son for this precious gift.
Pray with Mary about dating and finding love. There is no set way to approach her about it. St. Louis de Montfort suggested that we make a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of All Hearts. I first learned of this from a friend I made through CatholicMatch. About a year after I met her, this Mary began her consecration. She prayed for direction in her life and for her future husband.
And now? Mary met Michael through CatholicMatch a year or two later. They both have a devotion to the Blessed Mother.It was truly beautiful to see them honor and thank Our Lady her during their wedding ceremony two summers ago.
Another practical prayer step some Catholic singles take is to pray a 54-day rosary novena. I first learned about this very powerful prayer from some of the veteran members in the Prayer Room in the CatholicMatch forums. Some people pray for their spouse to come into their lives. Others pray it along with the person they are discerning a serious relationship with. It may seem daunting to pray the rosary 54 days in a row (particularly if praying the rosary is not a daily habit for you), but it is well worth it. Praying a novena is not magic, just like any other matter of faith isn’t, but it was an element that certainly led Anne and Doug to the altar. They were part of a 54-day rosary novena I led when they were conducting their long distance courtship and discerning marriage. Today their large combined family lives in Kentucky and they continue to invite the Blessed Mother to be part of it all.
The story of the wedding feast at Cana also urges us not to wait for the fairy tale to happen. We have to “do whatever He tells” us.
What does Jesus tell us to do?
Quite a bit, but we won’t know that if we aren’t immersed in prayer, attending Mass, and reading Scripture. If we are doing those things already, we have to make sure that we don’t have a divorce between our dating life and our spiritual life. Who, where, and how we date should be guided by Jesus’ directives. Being a disciple of Christ, being Catholic, is all about love. Doesn’t it make sense that dating and our faith life should be intertwined? Mary, the first and best disciple, is certainly a help with that.
What would Mary do?
It makes perfect sense that the Queen of Hearts would teach me about how to care for my heart and that of the men that I encounter on my path to marriage. She has been a great help in the practice of chastity. Maintaining one’s purity and that of those we encounter in our highly sex-charged society seems futile.
Without God’s grace it is.
I have to guard my thoughts, my emotions, and even my creativity. It means being wise about how I dress, behave and what kind of physical contact I allow myself and the men I know. I have a responsibility to not lead men into temptation. Mary, who is full of grace and blessed among women, is my guide on these things. I have learned from Mary that practicing chastity empowers me in a way that the sexual revolution can’t begin to. It also blesses men with a fighting chance at being virtuous men worthy of women trying to be like Mary.
Finally, I protect myself and the men that come into my life by giving them to Mary. I place them into her care. In a way, Mary stands between us. I learned to do this with some male friends who have deep devotions to Our Lady. It’s a beautiful thing to witness a man seek to be the man Our Mother desires him to be, one at her service for Christ. It is very tempting to fall in love with them and lose my heart. But none of these men are mine. They belong to Mary and the wives that God intended for them.
Somewhere out there is a man that Mary is directing to me, whether he knows it or not. I’m waiting to share my heart with him.
Let’s not forget that Mary knows what we seek. She knows what family life is like, what it takes to be a spouse, and to have one. Yes, God granted her and St. Joseph special graces, but that doesn’t mean that she is clueless about our own journey of love. Do I trust her to steer me and him in the right direction? She’s never steered me or anyone else wrong before. I trust the Queen of All Hearts and strive to make my answer be her answer: “Let it be!”