Undoer of Knots, pray for me. Virgin Mary, Mother of abundant love, Mother who never fails to come to assist a child in need. Your hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart. Cast your compassionate eyes upon me. See the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. There is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power take into your hands today this knot.
Pray for our Lives of Confusion
I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all. You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the only consolation. God gives me the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge
Pope Francis is responsible for the spread of devotion to Mary as the one who untangles the knots in our lives. The icon we used in the Iconography class is a classic version of Mary, mother of God. All we did was add a string of knots. The devotion to this concept began 17th century Germany. Mary, Undoer of Knots image, was placed in St. Peter’s Church in Augsburg. In the icon, central to the symbolism is the long tangled cord hanging that is not common to Virgin Mary Icons. The cord of tangled knots represents our tormented lives.
Mother Sewing Basket
We need the help of divine inspiration, holy awareness to untangle our lives of confusion. There is no human way to untie all our knots. To untangle a cord full of knots requires access to both its ends. As Mary, mother of God, sits holding the cord both ends are accessible, she works out one knot at a time with us. I can remember as a child untangling thread in my mother’s sewing basket. The thread cord of knots can seem endless, just as there seems to be no end to our lives of troubles and desires. The knotted cord Mary holds in this iconography reminds us that the human race is a string of connected knots. The cord passes through Mary’s hands as she persists with us to make our lives useful without hindrance.
All things are possible for God.
In the workshop, the selected image had nor the cord. We included the cord at the end. Each student came up with their own kind of cord. I laughed, thinking we are all so different in the eyes of God. The participants in the icon class each had a unique cord rendering for Mary the Undoer of Knots. One student painted hardly any knots on the cord, and someone else painted two entirely separate cords, one in each hand. Yet someone else made Mary Undoer of Knots with a circular cord with no beginning or end. Another person loaded the cord with knots. It was a wonderful egg tempera workshop, filled with surprises and prayer. Well done and unexpected.
Tim Schmalz has come up with another version of Mary of knots for us to reflect on. The earth in all her majesty floats beneath that gaze of Mother Mary the Undoer of Knots. I intend to use his idea for a large icon of my own. Our minds and hearts of humanity are filled with confusion. We all need someone to help us untie the knots we made and live with. Mary is probably pretty good at it by now.
For more information about Mary Jane Miller’s meditations in Mexico and her wonderful ministry, visit San Miguel icons. F ind out about her books on lulu. You can follow Mary Jane on Facebook. Mary Jane’s workshops have been suspended due to Covid. Stay tuned at Sacred Icon Retreats. I am offering Thursdays in the studio again.
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