Updated: Aug 13, 2022
"What a joy to remember that she is our mother! Since she loves us and knows our weaknesses. What do we have to fear?"
-St. Theresa of Lisieux
It was a warm night and I could hear the thunder in the distance. I turned over in my bed and felt the cold air from the air conditioner. I pulled over the covers and tried to go back to sleep. Then, I heard a knock and the bedroom door opened. "I am scared" said my oldest son. I knew that I was not going to go back to sleep and responded with "it's ok, just a thunderstorm. You can stay with us until it passes." Five minutes later, my yongest comes into the room "I just heard a loud noise."
Oh, the joys of being a mom! Motherhood comes with sacrifice, lack of sleep and learning how to put your children first before your own needs. I remember when I was a child, my mom used to say "wait until your a mother." I understand now that I am a mom what she meant by that phrase. I recall how she used to sing and rock me to sleep in the rocking chair. These we were great memories. But not all of us, have those comforting memories. St. Theresa of Lisieux lost her mother to breast cancer when she was only 4 yrs. old. Since she lost her earthly mother, she turned to the Virgin Mary as her mother.
St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta once said " If you ever feel distrssed during the 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." St. Mother Theresa was right. We can call upon Mary, and she will listen. She is our spiritual and heavenly mother. In the catechsim of the Catholic Church, it discusses Mary's motherhood with regard to the Church and her role (CCC 963 and 964). It also states in scripture when Jesus was on the cross in John 19:25 - Jesus says to his disciple "behold, your mother." Jesus was referring to Mary as mother to all of humanity.
The feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated every year on August 15th. This is when Mary was taken up into Heaven body and soul. People who do not identify as Catholic, sometimes say that Catholics worship Mary. But, that is untrue. Worship belongs only to God, and Him alone. We ask Mary for her intercessory prayers. It is just like asking a friend or family member to pray for you. But, since Mary is in Heaven, her prayers are more powerful there than here on earth. She also points us to have a closer relationship with her son, Jesus.
I never thought of having a relationship with Mary or calling her my mother, until recent years, as I have grown in my faith. I always had a relationship with God, the Father and as I grew into an adult, Jesus became more real to me, as well as the Holy Spirit. But Mary, is someone who I have grown closer to and very grateful for her motherly love. It all began with a friend of mine who asked me if I have ever done the 33 days of Morning Glory? I said "no, what is that?" She responsed with "it's a self-guided retreat that has writings from St. Mother Theresa, St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Pope John Paul II and St. Louis de Montfort." She gave me the booklet and I didn't think it was much to it, other than reading about what the saints had to say about Mary. I read and meditated on these writing for 33 days and then at the end of the 33rd day, I wrote up a small prayer, concecrating my life to Jesus through Mary. I didn't fully understand what I was trusting Mary to do, but I believed that it was something that would benefit me and my family. I would later find out how benficial the concecration was. And a year later, I made a concecration to St. Joseph (patron saint of workers, protector of the church, and a happy death).
A few months went by and I started to notice that my prayers were getting answered. Situations that I thought were stressful were no longer bothering me. I also felt more at peace, and knew that I could handle anything that life threw at me. Later, I came to realize that the concecration is a committment to living for God (in service to others). The peace that I was feeling was Christ's peace living inside me. Being there for my kids, my husband and sometimes my friends when they needed me was making a difference. During this time, I also started feeling closer to Mary and could talk to her the way I would talk to my mom. I would tell her about my day, about how I was feeling about things, my job and my troubles.
Mary looks after us every day. She can protect us from evil. Event though, I have never seen Mary in her physical form, I can sense her peace, her humility and her love. I can hear her soft voice whisper in my ear when I am at mass or in prayer. While in formation to become a lay Franciscan, I dreamed of Jesus and Mary. Jesus was right next me in my dream. He was wearing a white robe and He looked glorious with blue eyes and said to me "you know, my mom looks after everyone, everyday." I said "really? But I don't see her." He then pushed back the clouds, and there she was dressed in blue. I remember feeling overwhelmed with peace and awe. That dream made me realize how much Mary really does look after everyone with a motherly love.
So, what are you waiting for? Pray that she will intercede for your loved ones. Mary is always there for you and always ready to listen to what is going on in your life. She doesn't criticize, she doesn't judge, she doesn't think badly about your friends. She is humble, loving and is there to guide you in the right direction. She is full of love and ready to accept your invitation. Maythe Lord Bless you and keep you. May He turn His face on you and give you His Peace.
About the Author: Donna L. Marotto is a Faith Formation Director/Youth Minister; a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Lay Franciscan. If you would like to book her for your next retreat, please contact her at email@example.com or visit her website at Youarelovedministry.com