Mad for…Lily

Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. It’s a holy day of obligation for Catholics here in the US, and this morning my soul was singing along joyfully with the overflowing crowd at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, flanked by two of my three sons. The Assumption is about our Catholic belief that the Virgin Mary was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory. The grade school cantors at the mass did a glorious job, and it was so uplifting to hear so many people singing Hail, Holy Queen, Immaculate Mary and Let it Be Done to Me so beautifully. I was deeply moved.

If you ever feel distressed during your day, call upon Our Lady. Just say this simple prayer: ‘Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.’ I must admit, this prayer has never failed me. -St. (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta

This leads me to the young lady I’d like to introduce you to today. Her name is Lily Smith. The daughter of Adam and Mollie Smith and the sister of, well, MANY, she’s a vivacious, sparkly, intelligent, outgoing and faith-filled young woman who gives the most incredible hugs! It’s been a while since I’ve seen her, but she graduated from St. Louis de Montfort in 2014 with Drew and they continued on in school together until they graduated from Guerin Catholic in 2018. Lily was impossible to miss. She may be little, but she is filled up to her eyeballs with grace and love for Jesus, and also, she sings like an absolute angel. She’s college age now, and last I heard she was set to start her 2nd year of college at my alma mater, Purdue University! Boiler Up, Lily!! How blessed her fellow students as well as her family and friends are to have this gorgeous human in their lives is impossible for me to impart here in any adequate way.

When I contemplate about Our Blessed Mother, I have often pictured Mary’s youth and humanity. God asked her to trust Him completely, and she answered yes. She would have been a very young woman who was full of faith, and in love with the Lord– just like Lily Smith.

When the SLDM class of 2014 lost a classmate rather suddenly their sophomore year in high school, they all gathered together at church to pray. I’ll never forget the stunningly beautiful Divine Mercy Chaplet that Lily led her classmates in that evening. She certainly glorified the Lord that day by the way she used her incredible voice. Her classmates sang along to honor Jen, but make no mistake, Lily was their leader. Jesus was powerfully present that evening, just like He was this morning.

Spunky, outgoing and full of laughter and fun, Lily Smith is a young woman who just epitomizes servant leadership to me. She says yes. Just like Mary. Today, I wanted to tell Lily what I am long overdue to say. You, sweet girl, inspire me to love Jesus more. I haven’t even seen you in months, yet your light shines so brightly that yours was the face I saw in my mind when I was thinking “who can I choose to write about for the Assumption?”

Thank you, Lily Smith, for being a bearer of light. The world needs all the light that we can get! You are a treasure.