Happy Mother’s Day one and all. Today we honor our earthly mothers, remember those beloved Moms who have joined the Communion of Saints, and look to the example of the Holy Mother of God in all things maternal.
Some Catholics ask if this devotion to Mary is biblically inspired, or for that matter, appropriate. While one cannot point to specific verses in the Bible that direct Marian adoration, looking at the totality of Mary provides spiritual direction that can enhance any person’s relationship with the Mother of God. First, she herself was conceived without Original Sin. Contrary to popular belief, the Immaculate Conception does not refer to the conception of Christ, but the conception of Mary. The actions of Adam and Eve did not descend to Mary as she was prepared for being the new Eve, the new Mother of Creation.
Second, she had the faith to yes to God. She trusted the Lord with her whole heart, her whole being and said yes when asked to do God’s will. And think of it, she was around 14 years old, engaged to a nice carpenter down the lane, about to start an average life in a quiet village. Yet she had the courage to trust God and say “yes” when it could have cost her everything.
Third, she suffered with Jesus on the cross. What mother doesn’t suffer when their child is in pain? What mother doesn’t agonize when their child endures horrific persecution and humiliation? What mother doesn’t despair when faced with the reality their child will die and there is nothing she can do about it? Mary suffered with Jesus on the cross and Mary suffers with us during our struggles with our own children.
Finally, Mary did not die an earthly death. Her assumption into heaven, body and soul, as chronicled in Revelation 19:16, forever joins her in the Resurrection of Christ and the Lord crowns her Queen over all things. Mary is dear to the Lord. Mary is close to her Son. Mary carries a mother’s love in her heart and mother’s tears on her soul. Who better to cling to when faced with our maternal struggles?
Devotion is not adoration. Devotion is not worship. Devotion is a reverential care and love for a person most dear to God and the hope that her example will bring us closer to God. Call on Mary for her guidance. Call on Mary for inspiration. Call on Mary for her prayers. While God loves us unconditionally, it never hurts to have a few others put in a good word for us. If you’re looking for someone to bring along in your petitions to God, who better than the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who is closer to Jesus than any of us.
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen.