"And thus also it was that the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary" (Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 22).Man's fall from grace due to original sin -- what knot could be more complicated than that? Original sin, endured since our first parents, was loosed by the obedience of Mary to the will of God when she gave her fiat to become the mother of the Holy God. And so she is known as "Mary, Undoer of Knots." Mary, undoer of the knot of original sin. Mary, undoer of whatever knot is in your life and the big knot that is in mine. I once had a lovely little card that had printed on it "The best way out is always through." The best way out of the pain is to walk through it. And so I have been given the answer to my question of how do I forgive: pray a daily Rosary alongside Mary, Undoer of Knots, for my father's departed soul and for my wounded one. What does this prayer do? Two things. When we pray in good faith for someone who has hurt us we cannot help but love that person more. It is hard for us to love the person whom we do not know. I have only done this prayer for the last week, and already I am looking at my father through more compassionate eyes than ever before; somehow, it is giving me more knowledge of him. Secondly, praying the Rosary has a way of showing us who we are. Contemplating the mysteries of the God-Man being scourged or crowned with thorns gives me pause to think about the ways in which I have unleashed my own contempt for my Savior. The prayer becomes, then, less about offender (dad) and victim (me) and instead becomes two sinners contemplating God's passion and his love and mercy. And then, of course, the prayer is the outpouring of hope that God will and does redeem all things. Everything else in my life -- my mother's terminal brain disease, for example -- has shown itself to be a gift. Perhaps the gift is a severe mercy, but there is always mercy. There is always the great Divine Act of turning evil on its head to bless -- witness the crucifixion itself. Praying a daily Rosary for those who have wounded us alongside our great mother and intercessor is ultimately an act of hope, an act of humility, and an act of love. By focusing daily and for a sustained time on the life of Jesus in the company of Mary, Undoer of Knots, I have confidence that I will find healing and peace.
Copyright 2018 Amanda Woodiel
About the Author
Amanda Woodiel is a Catholic convert, a mother to five children ages 11 to 3, a slipshod housekeeper, an enamored wife, and a “good enough” homeschooler who believes that the circumstances of her life -- both good and bad -- are pregnant with grace. She leads a moms' group at her parish that focuses on simple and meaningful ways to live the liturgical year at home. Amanda blogs at In a Place of Grace.