In the strangest, yet most comforting way, I have felt Mother Mary’s presence with me these past couple of days. As I ran errands yesterday, I tried to say the rosary in the car – to make good use of my travel time. My mouth was saying the words, but my mind was in ten different, other places. I didn’t want to do what the bible warns against: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matthew 6:7) so I stopped. “I’m sorry Mother Mary. I will try again later. My mind is just not with it right now,” I said. Then I turned off the tape player and clicked on the radio. The Beatles song, “Let it Be,” was just coming on the radio…”When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom. Let it Be…”
Someone once told me that Paul McCartney was speaking of his earthly mother – not our heavenly mother when he wrote that song. It’s o.k. For me, this song reminds me of Mother Mary. It was like she was making her presence known to me, and telling me that my effort in praying the rosary was more important than my success in meditating upon its mysteries. There is a saying from Mother Theresa that I love, “God doesn’t require that we be successful, just that we be faithful.”
Later that day, my dear friend came with a gift. She asked me where I was going out to dinner. I said, “George’s is my favorite restaurant, because it has Our Lady of Guadalupe in both dining rooms. Her image is a comfort to me.” Then I opened the gift, and there she was again! My friend had given me a candle holder with a beautiful, hammered, copper image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on it. Amazing.
When I checked email this morning, another friend sent me a picture of an amazing stained glass image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that her daughter had made. I attended mass this morning, and the priest entered wearing his “Mary” stole. He mentioned that “This Saturday we celebrate a votive mass of the Blessed Mother.” Who knew? Lastly, this afternoon, as I shopped for a Father’s Day gift for my daughter’s godfather, there on the top of the T-shirt pile was a Beatles shirt with the words “Let it Be” in bold across the top.
I am so grateful for these reminders. Growing up in a home with Christian parents of two different denominations, I was very much confused about the role of Mary in our Church and in my life. The Catholic Church teaches that when Jesus was on the cross and gave Mary to his beloved friend John, he was also giving Mary to all mankind, to be their Mother and helpmate.
There are so many misconceptions about this beautiful, faithful woman. It is true, “There is one mediator between God and man and that is Jesus Christ.” (1 Timothy 2:5) Without the sacrifice that Jesus made, there would be no way that we could go to heaven. He is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John 14:6) Catholics do pray to God the Father through Jesus. We also talk to Mary and the Saints just as your would a friend here on earth. We ask them to pray for us. Here on this earth we need all the help that we can get. God in His goodness has given them to us as role models and helpers.
All I’ve ever asked Mary is to help me to be a good wife and mother following her example. I’ve asked her to bring me closer each and every day to Jesus, since I believe that she knows Him better than anyone – other than God, of course. She has done just that.
I had the privilege two summers ago to be present while Marija, one of the Medjugorje visionaries had an apparition of the Virgin Mary while here in the United States. I did not see Mary, as I had hoped I would, but it was very clear that something special was going on there. People gathered to pray and to witness this were gathered out in a field on a hot, July night. The crickets were chirping, frogs ribbiting and babies crying. During the moments that Mary was appearing to Marija, all of God’s creation – human, insect and animals fell silent. It gave me the goosebumps!
Mary has been appearing a lot in the last 30 years. Her messages are much the same. She calls us to conversion and repentance. She asks all to turn their hearts and minds back to God. She tells us that the Father is asking for prayer and sacrifices. She is concerned about our eternal welfare. Isn’t that would any good mother wants for her child- happiness for all eternity in the holy presence of God? If these apparitions were not of God, but a work of the devil, would her messages be those of conversion and turning back to God. I don’t think so. Mary brings us to Jesus. Mary brings us to God.
“…pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
Click on the blue letters if you’d like to hear the Beatles, Let it Be.