This month, I committed to a Marian Consecration that culminated in the feast day of the Visitation. Through this retreat, I spent time each day with Mary in thought and prayer. I learned of others who have relied on her intercession. I came to understand how Mary works, how badly she wants to bring us to her Son.
Towards the end of the retreat, I was getting lazy. I had to combine 2-3 days worth of readings at a time due to my state of “busi-ness.” How little is asked of us, and how weak we can be sometimes … despite this apparent laziness, Mary was graciously working. During the month of May, some incredible and tough things happened and I see her guidance in all of it. She’s truly made the crosses lighter and the road sweeter.
The absence of my own mother for the past 7 years is the backdrop, the gaping hole, that motivates so much of my need for Mary. It is no coincidence to me that at the onset of my consecration road, my mother entered rehab for the first time — her first steps towards shedding her self-destructive skin and taking on a new life. Previously, no interest was there in letting go of her harmful behaviors. Mary, my spiritual mother, went to work on my earth mom.
While my mom was away in rehab, I learned to forgive her. I learned how to not need her apology. My family (sister and dad) took the first steps towards healing — the first in 7 years — by attending counseling with me. The evening culminated in a 3-hour dinner together, sharing on a level that we hadn’t before. Mary at work, making our burdens sweeter.
On May 27th, my mom came home and, for the first time in almost a decade, there was life behind her eyes again.
Perhaps most impactful for me, my mom attended Mass with me — her first time in a number of years. At one point during Mass, she pointed out that her hands were shaking because she was so full of guilt and shame. From somewhere within me, I said words I’ve never expressed to anyone out loud – words I recently read and that seemed fitting for the moment: “It’s okay. If you fear the Father, go to the Son.” If pointed at a statue of Christ on the left side of the Church. “And if you fear the Son, go to the Mother.” I pointed to a statue of Mary on the right side of the Church. Her eyes filled with tears and I knew that, on some level, she felt Mary’s embrace just like I have. Mary working away.
This month, I’ve felt the love of other mothers. Mothers of friends and friends who are mothers. I was able to be alone, understand how to forgive others, and come back to the table stronger. Over the course of May, I subconsciously came to refer to the Blessed Virgin as Mamma Mary, a term that is filled more appropriately with all the warmth and honey that she’s given me. I look back on this month and wonder at her work. Who better to trust in our desire to be close to Christ than the one who knows Him best, the one who knows His thirst for us like no other, who wants nothing more than to help us meet her son?