Lilia Grundy discovers the fruits of committing to the Rosary and creates “Mary’s Menu” to help others.
The Honor of Crowning Mary
Last year, May 1, 2021 – marked a special day I will never forget. The first day of May, the month of Mary, my twins received their first Holy Communion. As their mother, I couldn’t have been more proud and more excited to watch them receive the Eucharist for the first time.
As all the children began to line up for the procession at the back of the church, I began to feel butterflies as I would be crowning the Mary statue. This small yet reverent act for our blessed Mother, encapsulated much symbolism for me on that day.
You see, just coming off my first, parish small-group, I had experienced a conversion of my own. The desire to absorb as much as possible about our faith opened wide and I was also left with a concrete longing – to know Mary.
Oh, I envied the relationships that other women had shared about in our group meetings. I felt far away from that possibility. I did not feel worthy. The voice in my head ran on replay: Mother Mary, May I? In other words, could I approach?
While I had never prayed the Rosary consistently (I didn’t even know how to fully pray the Rosary!) I started with Mary’s own request to “pray the Rosary every day.” This hit me strongly – why didn’t I receive this instruction earlier? I knew I had to make up for lost time and made a promise that I would pray the Rosary every day for the rest of my life.
I had no expectation of witnessing changes, but I had heard about the many graces offered to those who were faithful to the Rosary. I simply trusted in my commitment.
Oh Mary, Where Art Thou?
After committing to the Rosary, I sought about finding any possible way to grow closer to Mary. I learned that my parish offered the “Pilgrim Program” in which a statue of Mary visits a home each week. I immediately signed up. There was an indescribable yet tangible feeling of Mary’s presence in our house—I vowed to sign up again as soon as we were allowed.
I then learned about 33 Days to Morning Glory (A Do-it-Yourself Retreat) and began Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I found a lovely Miraculous Medal online to commemorate the celebration of reaching consecration day. I attended a small rite offered at a nearby parish where our medals were blessed.
I realized a beautiful statue gifted by my husband’s grandmother had been resting in the garage. I had an urge to bring her out, front and center. I silently prayed that my husband would agree to designating a space dedicated to the statue in our front yard—a discreet evangelization effort, if you will. After a month or so, my husband unbeknownst to me, moved that heavy statue right next to our home’s front door and built a small grotto for her there.
Shortly thereafter, our family received another heirloom—guess what it was? An 8-inch Mary figurine holding baby Jesus. Looking around the house for her new location, I happened to catch advice on a podcast that said to place items of faith where you most need it, like the kitchen. Bingo! Now when I wash the dishes (my least favorite chore), I can look up at the windowsill and pray with Mary—and the time flies by.
Manifesting “Mary’s Menu”
As May 2022 rolls in, I can’t help but reflect on my walk with Mary this past year. I had the privilege of being invited to serve on the Board for the National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother (a 62-acre shrine). I walk the grounds of this marvelous campus and I smile at all the statues and breath-taking paintings inside the chapel, knowing that it was Mary that brought me there.
Honored to contribute to CatholicMom.com and learn from other mothers—I feel Mary guiding me in new connections. And as I build my ministry for Catholic professional women, it occurred to me that there may be others, who like me, want to get to know Mary, but don’t know where to begin. After some reflection, I created “Mary’s Menu” to help jump start that journey. I trust your road to Mary may be just as fruitful.
Copyright 2022 Lilia Grundy
Images: copyright 2022 Lilia Grundy, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Lilia Grundy is University of Portland’s Pamplin School of Business’ Director of Corporate Partnerships with over 20 years of corporate experience (including Kraft Foods, NBC Television, and Telemundo). Lilia launched Catholic Women Professionals to inspire other working women to grow their faith. She is married to her high-school sweetie Rob - they have beautiful twin girls who love art, music and learning about the saints.