A few weeks ago, I traveled to Antiochian Village to attend the Ancient Faith Women’s Retreat. On the first morning, I went to the first talk with that morning’s Gospel repeating through my heart: Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” The gospel had stuck in my craw that morning, stirring up the long weariness I had carried over my feelings of inadequacy in parenting. I sat myself down gingerly in front of the icon of the Theotokos, my failure smarting like a splinter I held out to the Holy Mother. The icon was screen-printed and matte. There was no gold to catch my eye. Yet, the curve of the Theotokos’ fingers did catch my eye. She was supporting…