There have been certain times in my life when I felt uncomfortable about my relationship with Mary. And by Mary I mean the mother of God. I felt that I was supposed to be close with her, as a Catholic, but I just wasn’t sure what that was supposed to look like.
When my sister became pregnant with her oldest son, my brothers and I decided to pray a daily rosary for him. We made a pact of sorts and since I was in high school, I took it very seriously even though I had very little experience with the rosary. This was the seed that started my relationship with Mary,but I didn’t fully realize it at the time.
It began with an admiration for the type of person she was. Whenever I meditated on the joyful mysteries, I was struck by how un-joyful most of the mysteries were at face value: pregnancy out of wedlock, giving birth far away from home in an uncomfortable barn, the news that “you yourself a sword will pierce” when presenting your baby in the temple, and of course losing your young child on a journey for three days. (I had no issue with the visitation, that always sounded pretty nice to me.) Whenever I prayed the joyful mysteries I found myself contemplating what kind of a woman would find these events in her life not only not terrible, but as truly joyful. I was intrigued and felt that she was a strong woman.
When I became a mother, I had another encounter with Mary, and it is ongoing. I felt relieved that the very Mother of God knew the uncertainty, and at times the discomfort, that pregnancy could bring. I was grateful that I could ask for her intercession for the delivery and for motherhood at large. Today I discover more and more that motherhood draws me closer to my Heavenly Mother and in turn Mary draws us closer to her Son. Praying the sorrowful mysteries the first time as a mother with a young, innocent, vulnerable baby brought me to an overwhelming sense of sorrow that I know only skimmed the sorrow Mary must have endured. How lucky we are to have her as Catholics. How lucky I feel to have her as a Mom. Like a good mother she waits for a deeper relationship with us and when we come to her seeking help, she rushes to our aid.
Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us.