Sunday, 28 April 2013

Undoer of Knots

"Our Lady, Undoer of Knots"drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

When I first heard, soon after his election, that our new Pope has a great devotion to this image of Our Lady, I immediately went online, searching to find a copy of the painting.  Fortunately, it was an easy search and so right away I had a "model" to work from.  There was only one other painting that I could find which was based on this original and it is extremely well done and worth taking a look at online.

In doing research on this image and its origin, I came across the following information which the author kindly gave me permission to reprint here.

How this devotion started:
To show us the mission granted to the Virgin Mary by Her Son, an artist Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner painted Mary Undoer of Knots with great grace. Since 1700, his painting has been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Augsburg, Germany. It was originally inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyon and martyred in 202) based on the parallel made by Saint Paul between Adam and Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in turn, made a comparison between Eve and Mary, saying:“Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it”.

What are these knots?
They are the problems and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution … knots of discord in [the] family, lack of understanding between parents and children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. They are also the knots of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude…Ah, the knots of our life! How they suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and separate us from God.

Day after day, more and more Christians kneel to pray to her as soon as they meet the [Our Lady, Undoer of Knots]. Many families have become reconciled! Many diseases have been healed! Many spouses have returned to the Church! Many jobs have been given! Many conversions have taken place! Many Catholics have been on their knees praying and giving thanks for graces received from our sweet Mother. For that reason, Mary who undoes the knots, who was chosen by God to crush the evil with Her feet, comes to us to reveal Herself. She comes to provide jobs, good health, to reconcile families, because she wants to undo the knots of our sins which dominate our lives, so that – as sons [and daughters] of the King – we can receive the promises reserved for us from eternity. She comes with promises of victory, peace, blessings and reconciliation.

Used through the kind permission of Edson Bosetti, Mary Undoer of Knots, Brampton, Ontario,

The same drawing framed -- not really as this is the result of my playing around with Photoshop type software

Here are some insightful comments from Dr. Taylor Marshall:

Pope Francis's Devotion to 'Our Lady Untier of Knots'
Our new Pope Francis has been one of the chief promoters of "Our Lady Untier of Knots." When Pope Francis, then Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was studying in Germany, he was stunned by a Bavarian painting of "Holy Mary, Our Lady Untier of Knots." He acquired a copy of the painting and brought it to Argentina and promoted devotion to Mary under this title. Apparently it has caught on with the faithful of Argentina.
It is interesting that this Marian devotion of Pope Francis is rooted in Bavaria - it therefore creates a bridge between the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI and that of Pope Francis. In fact, Cardinal Bergoglio had an image of Our Lady Untier of Knots engraved into a chalice and presented it to Pope Benedict XVI.

The Theology of Our Lady Untier of Knots
The theology of Mary untying knots goes back to the second century - less than one hundred years after the death of the Apostles. Saint Irenaeus of Lyons wrote "the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith." (Adversus haereses, 3, 22) This is one of the earliest examples of describing Mary as the "New Eve." Eve, standing next to Adam, is the "co-peccatrix" (co-sinner) Mary, standing next to Christ crucified, is the "co-redemptrix" (co-redemptress). This does not mean that Mary directly saves or redeems us. It means that Mary consents and participates in the redemptive action of Christ. Her role is congruent and relative to the ... absolute role of Christ. Our Lady Untier of Knots is Patristic and may be the way forward for establishing and expanding Marian theology. The doctrine of Mary's universal mediation and her subordinate role to Christ in human salvation is beautifully summed up in this saying of Saint Irenaeus of Lyons. The fact that it goes back to the second century reveals that this is not a medieval accretion. It's a doctrine deriving from the Apostles themselves.

From the Blog of Dr. Taylor Marshall,

"Mary, Undoer of Knots", by Artist Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner.  Since 1700, his painting has been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Augsburg, Germany

Above is the original painting by Schmittdner which has had such a profound effect on Pope Francis and on so others as well.



I only have one new photo of Braden this week and it shows him being a very defiant young man!  He did not want to take his nap -- no matter what his mom tried.  This is not a good thing as it makes for a cranky baby and a tired mom!  Ah, well, that self-will begins to exert itself so early and from the beginning causes us so many problems since we tend to exert it so often to our detriment! 

A defiant Braden -- "No, I will not take a nap!"



Suki -- ever watchful
I have yet to figure out why Suki gets so anxious whenever I open the balcony door -- even just a little bit.  

On a day like today when it is not really warm enough to turn on the A/C, but just a bit stuffy in the apartment, I like to open the balcony door just a bit to let in some cooler air.  Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

Well, the minute I open that door, here comes Suki.  She may have appeared to be deeply asleep just moments previous, yet, in an instant she is awake and on the move.  She comes near the open door very cautiously, sniffing and listening, ready to jump at the slightest loud sound.

If she is hungry and I give her food while the door is open, she can only eat a little bit and even that is eaten while stopping to listen carefully between each bite.  After just a few bites, she can't stand it any longer and leaves her food unfinished and creeps back toward the open door as though creeping up on a dangerous foe.

It's not like I haven't tried to leave the door open many times over the years that she has been with me; however, Suki's reactions have always been the same!  Sometimes I just open the door and then try to ignore her behaviour.  But no matter how long I leave the door open, Suki never seems to be able to settle down.  Eventually, I start to feel guilty and so I go and close the door so that Suki can finally let herself go back to her all-important sleep.

Just another oddity of my funny cat.  Strange as she is, I wouldn't trade her!

As for me, I continue to be much the same -- no improvements, but no new problems.  For this I am very grateful as you can imagine.  I will be seeing my family doctor this coming week and, hopefully, she won't find anything new either!

The most exciting thing that will be happening this week is the appointment I have to meet a dear, dear friend on the day before her birthday.  This means that we can celebrate her special day with little gifts and some treats.  Anyone who knows me well knows how I feel about birthdays -- my own and those of all my family, friends and acquaintances.  Once I find out when your birthday is, watch out, you may be getting one of my homemade cards!

As I come to the end of this post, I would request that you join with me in asking Our Lady, Undoer of Knots to pray to her Son that the "knots" in all our lives may be undone through His grace.  That we may learn to trust in Christ and in the prayers of His dear Mother Mary and so know that peace which God alone can give.

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