Here is Your Mother: Loving and Honoring Mary
The Blessed Virgin is like a good mother who, not content with looking after all her children in general, watches over each one separately.
—St. John Vianney
I have written about Mary, Jesus’ mother, a lot. If you type “Mary” into the search engine on the right sidebar, you will find an array of blog posts about her. If you click on “31 Days” at the top of my website, you will find a 31-day series I wrote on her. My devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary has grown over the years. I didn’t grow up knowing her very well, but seeds were planted early on, and those seeds eventually took root and started to blossom. It was a long process, but thankfully, Mary is a patient mother. She never, ever gives up on her children, just like I would never give up on mine.
A mother has a unique relationship with each of her children. Whether a mom has one, three, or ten children, she recognizes each child’s unique dignity, worth, personality, talents, and virtues. And she modifies how she approaches each child based on that child’s temperament, needs, and interests. She looks at each child as if he or she is the most important soul in the world. But at the same time, she manages to love all of her children equally. She does this so that at the end of each day, her children feel loved in such a special way that each child believes he or she is the most important person in the world to Mom.
The same is true of Our Blessed Mother. Even more so, because she is completely in line with God’s will. Mary has a unique relationship with each of us, her children. Being the mother to all of creation, she adjusts the way she loves her children by giving us various expressions that provide us with intimate ways to grow close to her. Just as a mother exercises earthly wisdom by not treating all of her children exactly the same, in her wisdom, Mary knows how diverse her children are, and she comes to us in unique ways that capture our hearts, meet our needs, and provide us with comfort and care.
I recently took a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. It is a beautiful place, and it is where I took the images pictured in this post. During the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the priest invited me to turn to Mary with my struggles, my concerns, and my shortcomings. He encouraged me to rest under her mantle of protection, because “sometimes we just need the comfort of Mom.” Praying afterward, I looked up to the dome ceiling in the church. It was painted to be the starry design of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s cloak. I was directly under her mantle, and I will tell you, I felt the comfort of Mom, as she lead me to pray to Our Lord for guidance and strength.
We see this personal encounter with her children, time and time again in the history of miraculous Marian apparitions. And these are just the stories we know about! There is Our Lady of Guadalupe, the merciful mother who appeared to St. Juan Diego. We find hope and healing in Our Lady of Lourdes. Many of the names we call Mary have to do with specific devotions or apparitions, such as Our Lady of Fatima or Our Lady of Good Counsel. Mary even adjusts her attire to identify with her children, as is the case with Our Lady of Kibeho, who appeared to the people of Rwanda. Other names for Mary are simply affectionate, such as Cause of Our Joy or Seat of Wisdom. Simply praying the Litany of Loreto we see that the list of names associated with Our Blessed Mother is inexhaustible. But why? Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen once wrote, “She has so much dignity that no title could exhaust it.”
Mary loves being our mother, and just as she shows her love time and time again, we also have the opportunity to show Mary, our mother, our love and affection. Whether that is praying a simple Hail Mary each day, adopting the habit of praying the Rosary, or making a consecration to Jesus through Mary, she is so delighted to be in relationship with her children.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
—John 19: 26-27
As we near the end of May, the month devoted to Our Blessed Mother, how will you show your love and affection toward Mary, Jesus’ mother and ours?
This post is part of the monthly Catholic Women Blogger Network’s monthly blog hop. To read more inspiring posts about Catholic prayer and devotion, please click HERE.