To think of our Lady is always a breath of fresh air, a deep sigh of content, an infinite source of warmth and comfort in any kind of misery yet a pillar of strength against and above the most powerful forces of evil. A woman of sorrow, joy, purity and simplicity who, among all human beings who lived and would live on earth – loves God the most, Mary the Mother of God.
Though I am Catholic, my growing devotion to our Mother started just a few years ago. When I was a kid, we would often pray the rosary in school, as required, and I knew the mysteries and prayers by heart except for the Litany. There were times when we prayed the rosary as a family too, though not everyday. On rare occasions when I would in fact pray the rosary at night, I would literally fall asleep after just a few beads. And when I prayed, I often talked only to Jesus because I found it distracting to talk to Mary or the angels or saints. I did not feel so much an affection for our Holy Mother until in the recent years. Eventually, I learned that praying to Her and seeking Her Intercession as well as of all the angels and saints do not in any way diminish or distract my relationship with God.
Meditating on the life of our Blessed Mother, for instance, allows us to reflect even more on such great love and obedience to the Lord and the same goes to studying the lives of saints and the participation of angels in salvation. Thus, praying to them leads us even closer to God because then, we see them as credible witnesses and bearers of this love – the love that burns to sacrifice one’s life for the good of another. What a wonderful gift from God to give His Mother to unworthy sinners like us!
Mary versus the woman of the world illustrates such a stark contrast. I cannot help thinking how hard it is to imitate our Lady, the perfect model of what a woman should be, indeed in God’s Image and Likeness. I have always wondered – and I’m sure many do, as well, about Her Life since childhood since these are not in the Gospels. We have saints like Blessed Ann Catherine of Emmerich and St. Bridget of Sweden among others who have had visions that revealed the ‘hidden life’ of our Lady. Though these do not in any way replace the Gospels, and do not mean that the Gospels are not enough, they help us ponder with growing tenderness the character of this Blessed Woman whom God has chosen to be His Mother.
On this day, we celebrate the birthday of our Queen and Mother, who lived a simple, quiet and ordinary life of a woman and mother on earth, free from vanity and the foolish desires of the world. Let us contemplate this great mystery and consecrate our hearts to Her Immaculate Heart, She who has carried in Her Pure Womb, our Savior, Jesus, because it is She who truly understands the day-to-day joys and sufferings of a mother.
I believe that our greatest struggle as human beings is being able to love God so much that we forget our own will exist until only His remains. Mary never had difficulties in this department, thus, She is favored and nothing that She asks from the Lord, if it is in accordance to Her Son’s Will, is denied.
Is there anyone else, then, who can teach and lead us faster to the Lord other than His Mother, our Mother, Mary? Is there anyone who understands the love of a mother more than Her whose heart suffered the greatest in witnessing Her Son’s Agony?
Let us pray to Her, not just today but everyday. She is just a few beads away.
Mama Mary, may we be like You in our thoughts,
in our actions, in our daily menial tasks,
in our manner of dressing,
in our manner of speaking,
in our silence to insults,
in our courage and zeal to conquer evil,
in our humble acceptance of suffering,
in our quiet submission to God’s Will
and in our hundred little ways of loving..
To God be the glory!