Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Best Mother's Day Present

I've been trying to think of a good present to give to my Mother for Mother's Day.  I could give her a bouquet of flowers. Something tangible is always good. But I also thought about giving her the gift of time—just being present with her and talking with her.  
What about you?  Did you pick out a gift for our Mother?
It's a little tricky, since our Mother is the Queen of Heaven and Earth.  In a sense, she doesn't need anything. Yet, she is a true mother and, as such, she desires the love of her children.
May is the month of Mary, which seems only fitting, since it's when we celebrate Mother's Day.  It is a special time to reflect on Mary's role in each of our lives and to honor the great gift Christ gave us in His most perfect Mother--our helper, our protector, our model, our mom.
When I think about the Blessed Mother, I don't always have an emotional response.  I'm not filled with a warm and fuzzy feeling all the time, so to speak. However, there is not a single doubt in my mind that she has been watching over me and with me.
I particularly call to mind an experience I had while in college.  I was sitting in a practically-empty chapel, praying before the Blessed Sacrament.  My heart was in turmoil over some particular problem. As I spoke with Our Lord, the door to the chapel opened and a young man came in.  I didn't recognize him and tried to put him out of my mind as I returned to prayer. Yet, a few minutes later, the young man walked up to me.  He held out a Miraculous Medal and said simply, "This is from your Mother. She is praying for you."
During the big moments of my life, I definitely see our Mother's loving presence.  My husband and I began our relationship on the Feast of the Assumption. On our wedding day, we placed a bouquet in front of the statue of Our Lady.  I knew that she had worked behind the scenes to bring us together. When I was in labor with our children, I prayed the Hail Mary through each contraction.  
If ever there is some trouble or distress, I run to her ... just like our toddler seeks me out when she is upset.
And why not run to her?  She is our Mother. As Our Lord hung on the cross, He looked down upon Mary and St. John, the beloved apostle.  "Behold your son ... behold your Mother." In these words, Christ gave His Mother to all of us, represented in John.  Why would we ever reject this gift from our Lord? He wants us to love Mary and to be devoted to her.
Besides, drawing closer to our Mother means drawing closer to Our Lord.  St. Louis de Montfort urged devotion to Mary, explaining that such devotion is the surest, the easiest, the shortest, and the most perfect way to Christ Himself.  Mary's intercession for us is so powerful: just remember the wedding feast at Cana. Our Lord performed His first miracle at His Mother's request. Jesus "began and continued His miracles by Mary, and He will continue them to the end of the ages by Mary" (St. Louis de Montfort).
Perhaps, as a gift to our Blessed Mother during this month of May, you may consider praying the rosary—whether alone or as a family.  The word "rosary" comes from Latin word rosarium, or rose garden.  Our rosary prayer is like a wreath of roses we are presenting to our Mother.  For those less familiar, here’s a helpful summary of how to pray the rosary. There are lots of rosary apps out there as well.
This might just be the perfect gift, since it's the one our Mother especially requested!  When the Blessed Virgin appeared at Fatima in 1917, she asked that the rosary be prayed every day.  If that isn't enough motivation, every pope for the past 400 years has encouraged this devotion. The rosary is our opportunity to sit with our Mother and to ponder those great events of her life and that of her Son. While we finger the rosary beads and speak the vocal prayers, our hearts can contemplate those mysteries of our salvation.  “The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you will be amazed at the results” (St. Josemaria Escriva).
Our Mother is with you.  She watches over you, prays for you, loves you, and desires to bring you ever closer to her Son.  Let us all be better children of this most perfect Mother and, this month of May, may we come to love her even more.

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