The Blessed Mother

Mary, Our Mother, Teach Us To Pray

   I was introduced to Our Blessed Mother at an early age. I fondly remember the many processions held in her honor at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church in Walkerville, MT.

   The sisters would patiently gather us in the church to form a procession in honor of Mary, followed by the recitation of the holy rosary. Each child was directed to recite either the Our Father or the Hail Mary or the Glory-Be until we successfully prayed all five decades of the rosary.

    As a child I instinctively knew Jesus’ mother was a very special person to be honored and respected. As an adult I got away from saying the rosary or even thinking very much about the Blessed Mother. However, my mother, always prayed the rosary especially during times of great sorrow and sickness in our family. She seemed to know Our Lady was interceding on her behalf.

   It wasn’t until many years later when my mom was diagnosed with a terminal disease that I began to pray the rosary with mom. It was during this time of great uncertainty and fear; I began asking Our Blessed Mother to intercede for us.

   On one occasion I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, Our Blessed Mother had interceded on our behalf. Mom was in a Great Falls hospital in Montana receiving her chemotherapy treatment when suddenly without warning her heart began to fail her. The doctors and nurses rushed her into ICU and began to work frantically to get her heart working properly. She was hooked up to all kinds of monitors and machines.

   I was scared; I feared the worst. Thankfully the medical team finally got her heart stabilized. I was so exhausted, the nurses encouraged me to go back to the motel and get some rest. I reluctantly agreed.

   I sat in my car, which was parked in the parking lot of what was then the Columbus Hospital, and the tears began to flow. I ask Jesus to wrap His arms around her and keep her safe. I looked out at the nearly empty parking lot and I saw this beautiful and glowing statue of Our Blessed Mother. She was so beautiful; I immediately felt a peace and I knew she was watching over us.

   The next morning when I arrived at the hospital, I wanted to look at the statue again of the Blessed Mother, but to my total surprise the only statue I could find was that of Christopher Columbus.

   I will always believe in my heart that Our Blessed Mother was there in the hospital parking lot that night helping me through this difficult time.

   My mom faced her illness with so much courage and inner peace. It was as if Mary was holding her hand and comforting her during her final days and leading her home to Jesus.

   My loving devotion to Mary has grown since my mom died in 1997. I recall the words of Saint Bridget of Sweden: “The demons are every anxious in their pursuit of souls. Yet, they quickly abandon their prey merely at the name of Mary.”

   Mary is my “top-of-the-line” prayer warrior and I want her in my corner every moment of every day.  (Reprinted from the May/June 2003 Family Digest Magazine)

 

 

Mary Pondered Many Things In Her Heart

   In the Gospel of St. Luke, it states, “But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke:2:19). This verse reveals so much about Our Blessed Mother and the way she handled the profound events in her life.

   How did she develop such a quiet and holy silence? Did this just come to her naturally? “From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. “Full of grace,” Mary is “the most excellent fruit of redemption” (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.” CCC-508.

   Mary must have spent much time in prayer, meditating on the holy words of God. The Holy Spirit began preparing her from the moment of her birth for the role she would play in the redemption of man.   

   “She cooperated fully in God’s plan. By pronouncing her “fiat” at the Annunciation and giving her consent to the Incarnation, Mary was already collaborating with the whole work her Son was to accomplish. She is mother wherever he is Savior and head of the Mystical Body.” (CCC-973)

   Jesus calls each of us to look to his mother as the perfect role model and the way to holiness in our lives. Numerous times during Jesus’ ministry, he sought a quiet place to pray to the Father. He teaches us the importance of spending time in quiet prayer and reflection.

   ‘Pondering these things in her heart’ indicates Mary didn’t say a lot about the things that were happening in her life. But through studying the word of God as revealed to the prophets, she began to gain wisdom coupled with a profound humility and acceptance.

   Many times when things begin to occur in my life, which I don’t fully understand or accept, I tend to react with a spill of needless words, which only helps to create more anxiety in my life. But when I reflect on how Mary ‘pondered these things in her heart’ it helps me more readily give up the needless words and to spend time in the quiet presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

   It is in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament that I can begin, like Mary to ponder things in my heart. It is during this quiet time, the peace of Jesus enters my heart. In this grace-filled silence I more readily begin to respond to situations rather than react.

   The more I reflect and read about Mary’s life through Scripture, Marian books and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the more I desire to imitate her humility and purity in my own life.

   Our Blessed Mother’s role is a simple but profound one: She brings us closer to her son, Jesus, intercedes for us as she teaches us to quietly ponder things in our heart.

 

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Leila | Reply 14.05.2016 07.28

Yes Connie! The Blessed Mother said in Medjagore if one person in the family
remains faithful she will grant graces for the rest of the family to be saved!

jean clark | Reply 06.04.2014 15.57

wow. You really can touch people with your writing. Thanks for sharing. And keep it up.

Is that picture truly what you look like now . Different.

Thank

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15.05 | 07:49

Beautiful!

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14.05 | 10:08

Thank you, Connie, for coming to our May Crowning. It is always one of my favorite days at St. Andrew.

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20.04 | 19:58

Amen, Connie. Beautiful!

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11.01 | 09:30

Oh Connie! How I needed to read this today. Thank you and God Bless.

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