Raised as a Protestant/Evangelical Christian, I didn’t know Mary well. She was NEVER once called Blessed. No sermons were preached about her. She was only the pale plastic figure in the manger scene at Christmas time. Yet, secretly–frequently–I spoke with her.
When we lived in Connecticut in the 90’s, I’d walk and pray while holding my plastic Rosary before the four children arose. I’d pour out my prayers as I hiked through the snow; each child receiving one decade of prayers leaving the last decade for my pleas to God. Thus that Rosary became my tangible prayer partner for a mother whose submariner husband was at sea 70%.
Now as a confirmed Catholic in 2009, that Blessed Mother is my own, since our Lord Jesus gave us His mother on The Cross. John 19:26 explains, “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, He said, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour, the disciple took her to his home.” (RSVCE)
My Blessed Mother was The First Disciple of Jesus, and she teaches me how to be His disciple too. In Luke 1:43 Elizabeth felt her son John the Baptist leap in her womb upon hearing Mary’s voice and said, “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Instead of blogging about the experience of heaven meeting earth in her womb, Mary simply pondered all these things in her heart and accepted God’s will. This acceptance means that no matter what trials she would undergo in the future, she was ready to unite her suffering with her Son for the redemption of the world. Moreover, because she suffered, she understands my burdens. By knowing my Blessed Mother, I have a prayer warrior in combat boots praying for me 24/7.
She has overcome the enemy and reigns with her beloved Son in Heaven. And she said in her last spoken words in The Bible when Jesus changed the wedding feast water into wine, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2:5. She only points to Him.
By knowing my Blessed Mother, my prayers are placed into the hands of one who touched and kissed the face of God. Into Mary’s hands means you and I can place our immediate troubles into those praying hands that held and kissed the tiny hands of Jesus as he pulled at her garment for the warmth and sustenance of her milk and into whose grown hands would be thrust the nails of our sins. She gave Him her milk of life as He would, in turn, give us eternal life.
So as a Catholic, I now have a heavenly prayer advocate, “My Blessed Mother” as she herself says in Luke 1:48, “behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.” When I came into the Church in 2009, my Baptist friend, Cindy, questioned, “How can you call Mary Holy? Only Jesus is Holy.” What I sadly realize now is how thoroughly the devil has removed Mary from the spiritual arsenal of Protestants. Isn’t that a brilliant plan? Make Protestants wary of the one who gave us our Lord. But as Jesus says in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Praise God that the Church Christ gave us, The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church honors His Blessed Mother as much as He does. And it is through that honor that you and I have such a prayer warrior.