Queen of the Angels, Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Peace, Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Grace. Mary, the Mother of God, is called by many endearing titles that honor her. I have wanted to write a post for Our Lady for the longest time, but something kept me from it. I didn’t have a personal reason proportionate enough to the greatness of the Blessed Mother of God until recently.
As I write this post I am experiencing my third miscarriage. While the physical symptoms linger, I know that my baby is already peacefully in heaven, for the pain that I must feel she will never have to suffer. God is good like that. When asked her greatest wish for her child, any mother would say ‘to protect them from suffering.’ No one knows this desire, and this pain better than Mary, the Mother of Christ. She watched her only Son be ridiculed, whipped, beaten, and crucified … and her heart surely broke. She learned first hand that suffering cannot always be avoided, but by the grace of God, it can be endured.
It saddens me to know that many people mistakenly think that Catholics ‘worship’ Mary. Rather, what Catholics practice is an utmost reverence and respect for the Mother of God – simply put, we revere her because she was chosen by God Himself to bring His only Son to Earth. Saint Maximilian Kolbe said, “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
One of the most well versed writers on Mary, Saint Louis de Montfort, shares, “You never think of Mary without Mary thinking of God for you. You never praise or honor Mary without Mary joining you in praising and honoring God. Mary is entirely relative to God…. She is an echo of God… If you say ‘Mary’ she says ‘God’. When Saint Elizabeth praised Mary calling her Blessed because she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God, responded with her canticle, ‘My soul glorifies the Lord’. What Mary did on that day, she does every day.”
When we contemplate a mother’s love for her child, we see how we can more intimately know Christ by praying to and with the woman who loved Him more than anyone in the world. When we consider a mother’s pain while watching her child suffer, we understand how we can bring our deepest pain and suffering to Mary, and, with loving arms, she will hold us in our sorrow. When we lose a child, they’re not really lost. They are in Heaven, in need of a mother until they meet their earthly mother again.
In fact Jesus himself ‘gives’ His disciple John to His Mother, and His Mother to John when, after His death, He realizes that they will need one another to ultimately fulfill the bond of mother and child. He christens this new relationship when He says to Mary, “Woman, behold your son”, and to John, “Behold your Mother” (John 19:27), as we read in the September 15th Gospel commemorating the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
It is because of this same reverence for and trust in the intercession of Our Lady I began wearing her Miraculous Medal around my ankle day and night not too long ago. Delighted, I had finally found a solution to keep the Blessed Mother close to me at all times, without the tiny toddler hands of my little one pulling it away from my neck. And it is precisely this medal that my hand found as I held my legs to my body and wept on the bathroom floor the night I realized another baby of ours had left us early to go to Heaven. In that moment, I realized a few things. 1. Mary’s Immaculate Heart is pure and limitless and she aches to love all of her children just like she loved Christ. 2. Mary is just waiting for us to ask for her help. 3. Mary would gladly be the mother of my angels if I simply asked her. So there on a cold bathroom floor I felt an immediate warmth in the hand that held her medal as I heard her whisper, ‘Of course I will mother your dear angels. I thought you’d never ask. I will love them like my own, as I love you. I will hold them dear to my heart until you meet them again in Heaven.’ And just like that a new term of endearment for Our Lady was born … a very personal one that I am most grateful for … Mary, Queen of my Angels.