Mother Mary’s Month

The month of May brings warmer weather, glorious gardens, and springtime enjoyment.  May also includes honoring mothers with celebrations, special meals, and expressions of love and gratitude for their self-sacrificing and unconditional love.

Maternal love
Healing balm
Embracing heart
Reconciling mediator

And the mother who embodies our highest notions of maternal love par excellence is our Mother Mary whom we honor in a special way in May with crowning her statues, with songs and flowers, with processions, and with praying the Rosary.  Christ entrusted His Mother to each of us when He said to John, “Behold, your Mother” (Jn 19:27).

By the Cross, it was a mutual entrusting since Jesus also spoke to Mary, as He said, “Woman, behold, your son” (Jn 19:26).  Since Mary was addressed first, perhaps she was the one to first stretch out her arm and embrace John.  And he who had laid his head on Jesus’ Sacred Heart, might he then have laid his head at that moment against Mary’s Immaculate Heart.  We too can find ourselves in that maternal embrace, leaning against our Mother’s heart as she extends her arm to draw us closer, comforting and strengthening us to bear our crosses – in union with her Son Jesus.

Blessed John Paul II taught the world to have a tender love and devotion to Mary by the witness of his own life and by carrying his crosses.  As a young boy, his mother died and after that great sadness, he drew great comfort from Mary as his mother.  He consecrated himself to Mary, he attributed his life being saved to Our Lady of Fatima’s maternal intervention, and he ended all his writings with a reference to Mary.  Each person who met John Paul II was given a Rosary and he gave to all the Church the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary to contemplate.  What a devoted son he was to his Mother Mary!

In his encyclical on Mary, Redemptoris Mater (The Mother of the Redeemer), John Paul II’s deeply felt filial devotion to Mary is apparent.  He writes, “Motherhood always establishes a unique and unrepeatable relationship between two people:  between mother and child and between child and mother…. Mary’s motherhood which becomes man’s inheritance is a gift: a gift which Christ Himself makes personally to every individual.… At the foot of the Cross there begins that special entrusting of humanity to the Mother of Christ….  Such entrusting is the response to a person’s love, and in particular to the love of a mother” (45).

How immensely Mary our Mother loves us, her precious children!  And this love is the intimate love between mother and child.  Mary desires to have a relationship with us, not only a devotion to her. Some ways to grow closer to her include:  praying daily the Rosary, consecrating oneself to her (like the one of St. Maximillian Kolbe or St. Louis de Montfort), and saying often the words Mother Teresa taught:  “Mary, be a Mother to me now.”

The various approved apparitions reveal Mary’s maternal solicitude for all.  She constantly desires our peace and happiness.  Mary lovingly guides us along our earthly journey, taking our hand and walking next to us to lead us safely and speedily to Jesus.  We could not ask for a better Mother.

Blessed Mary, our beloved Mother, thank you for being our mother and a pure model of love.  Your Maternal love comes from a heart centered on Others.  Your Tenderness is a Healing balm for wounded humanity.  With your Embracing Immaculate Heart, you gather us under your mantle.  Though it is only through Christ that we come to the Father, yet you, Mary, have a preeminent role in Reconciling us to our Heavenly Father through your powerful prayerful intercession and your mediation of Christ’s graces.  MOTHER , you truly are.