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As I brushed and brushed and brushed and brushed and brushed my daughter’s hair, all I could hear was “OWE! OWE! OWE! OWE! OWE!” all strung together in one long plea to stop.


A mass of tangles! With each new section came a new territory to set free! It was so wonderful to see the results, but so painful for me to hear her yowling. It broke my heart, really. Many times I just wanted to quit and say, “Fine! Let’s just cut it all off!” Or “OK! Go with it looking like a fright wig! But don’t blame me if your head turns into one GIANT dreadlock!”

Hair... In my family we have LOTS of it! Four daughters with curls down their backs and beyond. My friend once quipped that he was going to die from a “hair ball” in his throat, as they had similar hair issues in their home.

As each little rat’s nest in my daughter’s hair finally gave way to silky-smoothness, I wondered...where did all of these KNOTS come from? It would be easier to neglect her tangled mess since my best mothering efforts seem to only make her scream and cry. Yet, if I left it, the knots would just get worse. I still hear her heart-wrenching entreaties, “Mommy help me! Smooth-out the knots!”

Then I realized, this is exactly how Mary must feel. This is what we need to ask of our own Blessed Mother--

Mary...Our Lady, Undoer of Knots.

It must pain her so to see her children when we’re tied up in knots. She so lovingly takes our snarled lives and gently, patiently smooths them out with the working of her hands folded in prayer. She hates to cause us pain, and the “undoing” can at times be tough, but she doesn’t like to see so many knots in our life. If we do not seek help, they can become one horrific mess. Many times we don’t even know where they come from! But...they’re with us, all the same.

As one who was not brought up praying to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin, when I first heard of Our Lady Undoer of Knots, I was, to say the least, a bit skeptical. But after several affirmations that I should try praying through her for this one particularly difficult thing in my life, I opened the booklet entitled Mary, Undoer of Knots and, much to my surprise, after the prayers were was the problem.

I have taken a long look at these prayers and, in my estimation, they are pure spiritual warfare. We are calling on Mom to get out the snake hoe. In Genesis, we are told Mary, the new Eve, would step on the head of the evil one. We ask her to intervene and deliver us from all that prevents us from being united with God, and free to serve one another in love.

I invite you to pray the prayer Pope Francis wrote to Mary, Undoer of Knots, and see for yourself how beautiful “untangled” can be.

“Holy Mary, full of God’s presence during the days of your life, you accepted with full humility the Father’s will, and the devil was never capable of tying you up with his confusion. Once, with your Son, you interceded for our difficulties, and full of kindness and patience, you gave us example of how to untie the knots of our life.

By remaining forever Our Mother, you put in order and make more clear the ties that link us to the Lord.

Holy Mother, Mother of God and our Mother, to you who untie with a motherly heart the knots of our life, we pray to you to receive in your hands (the name of the person), and free him/her of the knots and confusion with which our enemy attacks.

Through your grace, your intercession and your example, deliver us from all evil, Our Lady, and untie the knots that prevent us from being united with God, so that we, free from sin and error, may find Him, and may serve Him always in our brothers and sisters. Amen.” --Pope Francis


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