Monday, May 6, 2013

The Greatest Mom of All Time

Friends of Faith:

Hallmark and ATT would both tell us that Mother’s day is one of the most celebrated days of the year.
But being a Mom (a woman, wife and mother) expands the emotional range from the ultimate joys, to the ultimate sorrows.

I have had several conversations with moms over the past few weeks expressing their heartfelt concern and sorrow over the choices being made by their children or of the pain their children or husbands were experiencing caused by illness and/or depression. My suggestion to them has been to turn to Mary and to ask her for her intercessory prayers and consolation—because Mary the Mother of Jesus, like no other Mother here on earth, has experienced each of our heartfelt emotions in her walk with her son Jesus through His birth, death and resurrection.
“As the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary has a unique position among the saints, indeed, among all creatures. She is exalted, yet still one of us.

"Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved."

Mary embraces God's will and freely chooses to cooperate with God's grace, thereby fulfilling a crucial role in God's plan of salvation. Throughout the centuries, the Church has turned to the Blessed Virgin in order to come closer to Christ. Many forms of piety toward the Mother of God developed that help bring us closer to her Son. In these devotions to Mary, "while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly known, loved and glorified and . . . all His commands are observed." The Church honors her as the Mother of God, looks to her as a model of perfect discipleship, and asks for her prayers to God on our behalf.”
I have a rosary reflection prayer book I often use when I pray the rosary. As I pray for marriages, children, and the intentions of friends and family (particularly those who are ill, or at a crossroads in their lives) the reflections remind me, that no matter what the intention, Mary has been there before us.

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Lk 1:38
At the annunciation: the difficult decision Mary had to make to say yes to God to accept the responsibilities of a child—think of other mother’s who were not expecting to be pregnant, and the struggle they go thru to say yes. Do we say yes each time God call’s us to choose a difficult path in life? Do we support unwed expecting mothers? Do we teach that every life, every child is God’s greatest gift?

The charity Mary exhibited by visiting Elizabeth to help her prepare for the birth of John the Baptist—think of the times we are asked to give up our time to help a friend. Do we take every opportunity to serve others or are we selfish with our time and talents?
The love she felt at the birth of her son, Jesus—think of the love we feel or experience in holding our newborn children or grandchildren. Do we take every opportunity to love and to say “I love you?”

The sacrifice of giving her son, Jesus, back to God at his presentation--EVERYTHING we have is a gift from God? Do we say thank you often enough, not just for the big and visible, but for the smallest acts of kindness given to us, especially by our spouses?
Mary’s compassion as she observed Jesus scourged and persecuted, knowing that he would be denied by those who did not understand his message and the reasons for his actions—most hurt is caused by a misunderstanding, or a miscommunication. Do I accept responsibility, or do I blame someone else for my actions and my words?

Her sorrow and pain in seeing him crowned with thorns—reflecting on my prayers for those I have hurt, and praying for those who by their actions may be hurting others (intentionally or unintentionally)—do I take every opportunity to forgive and do I pray for the forgiveness of others, especially my spouse?
The agony Mary felt in seeing her son carrying the cross, carrying OUR sins— I think of marriages broken and the suffering of the children who bear their parents pain. Do I realize the pain I cause others?

She experienced the ultimate sorrow in seeing her son suffer and die—comparatively as mom’s and wives we wish to take away the suffering our children and our husbands experience. Am I patient in my prayers, or do I expect problems to be “fixed” immediately, or because I demand it? Do I accept “thy will be done?”
And the ultimate joy in witnessing Christ’s resurrection—in knowing that because of Him all would be given the opportunity for life. Do I accept suffering (by denying myself) so that I will be allowed to experience the full joy of the Resurrection, or do I take the easy way out, and look for instant gratification?

God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Rev 11: 19-12: 1
Mary, Queen of the Universe, I ask your intercession, to our heavenly Father, and thru your son, Jesus, to help me say yes to God, to realize the gifts I have been given and to accept the sufferings I must bear. May you be my living example of what true Motherhood means, so that like you I may experience the ultimate joy as you do in heaven. Amen.

For more on walking with Mary, honoring her, and requesting her intercession thru the Hail Mary prayer refer to my meditation on May 9, 2011 or 9, 2011)
May we as women strive for the perfection of the example of Mary, Our Mother in Heaven and on Earth,

Have a Happy Mother’s Day,


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