When you think of Mary how do you think of her? Do you think of Our Lady of Fatima who came to call the world to repentance and performed the Miracle of the Sun? Do you think of Our Lady of Lourdes known for healing? Maybe you think of her as Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal or as the Mother of God. She is the Queen of Heaven and Earth, Queen of Angels, Queen of Apostles, Confessors and so on. Many know her as the Blessed Virgin Mary. One could easily fill a page with all the titles given to Mary.
How we think of Mary is important because it influences how we relate to her. Tone weekend last October I took part in the 2000 Hail Mary devotion and I was struck by the organizers’ attitude toward Mary. They didn’t refer to Mary by any of the titles which suggest Mary’s power but simply referred to her as Mother Mary.
What struck me was the simplicity and yet total confidence they had that Mary would answer our prayers. They simply knew that Mary would grant whatever we asked if it was for the good of our souls. How could she not since she was our loving mother? Why wouldn’t she bless her loving children?
Isn’t it really that simple? Mary is our loving mother given to us from the Cross by Jesus when He said “behold your mother” in John 19:27. As our loving Mother she wants what is good for us and is always ready to go the Father for us if we should ask in prayer. Isn’t Jesus the one who showed us at Cana the power of Mary’s intercession? Isn’t He pleased when we choose to honor His and our mother? Why shouldn’t we expect good things to happen when we go to our Mother?
So often we get distracted by theology and all of the titles and apparitions of Mary that we forget that she is our loving mother to whom we can go to for help just as we would our earthly mother. We forget that there is a relationship with Mary as our heavenly Mother that we develop by our devotions to her? As any priest would tell you we know that she isn’t God but she intercedes powerfully with God. When we honor her as our Mother we obey the Fourth Commandment to honor our mother but we also honor and obey Jesus who gave her to us as our mother.
So often we forget that she is our loving mother. We focus on the call to repentance, the call to prayer and the Sacraments, the warnings of chastisements. We forget that all of this is done because she loves us and wants to protect and save us from all the evil in the world. Isn’t that what a mother does, whatever she can to protect her children from pain? Doesn’t she pray constantly for the conversion of her children because that is what is best for them? Doesn’t she work tirelessly for their reconciliation with the Father?
Don’t earthly mothers sacrifice so much for their children? Don’t they always want what is best for them? Don’t they do what they can to provide their needs? Don’t they seek to protect and guide their children to the best of their abilities? Isn’t this what we expect of mothers? Isn’t this what Mary seeks to do?
Aren’t most mothers approachable? Wasn’t it true that for many of us it was emotionally easier to ask Mom for something and let her go to Dad than to go ourselves? Didn’t we want Mom on our side if we got into trouble or needed help? If earthly mothers can be so good to their children how much better would our Mother Mary be to her loving children? Doesn’t it make sense to think of Mary as our Mother Mary and to develop a relationship with her? Doesn’t it make sense that we can approach our Mother Mary with confidence rather than a weak hope that she would intercede?
The key is to focus on the fact that Mother Mary is our loving mother. We need to remember that we have a loving mother in heaven who wants what is good for us.
Lord, thank You for the gift of such a loving mother. Thank You that we can approach Mary in confidence that she will intercede for all that is good for us. Help me to always think of Mary as my loving mother and honor her as You desire. Amen