“Am I not here, I who am your Mother?”
—Our Lady of Guadalupe
There is something special about a mother's love. Now, more than ever, in these uncertain times, I pray that my own children will turn to Our Blessed Mother, for I know that when it comes to consoling us in our earthly struggles and sorrows, “God gave her a mighty and a sympathetic heart for this great task” (Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother).
Yes, there is something special about a mother's love.
After giving birth to our first child (9 lbs. 12 oz.), I was exhausted, ecstatic, and emotional. Those initial precious moments that my husband and I shared have always been treasured, and so is the phone call which I made to my mother to tell her the wonderful news. The minute I heard her voice I started to cry. She cried too—tears of joy!
My husband and I had eight more children and each time I called my mom to share the news of a new grandchild, we always shed joyful tears.
I have shared sad moments with my mom, too. When our oldest child went to college, I felt a keen sense of loss, as many parents do. Even though I knew I wasn’t really losing him, there was an abrupt void and I realized that things would inevitably change in our home. As soon as we returned from dropping him off, I found myself getting back in the car to drive the short distance to my mother’s house. She opened the door and we hugged, not saying anything. After a period of silence, she said, “It’s hard, isn’t it?” My mom knew exactly what I was feeling and what to say to me.
Of course, no earthly mother is perfect. Our oldest is thirty years old now and our youngest is ten, and I know that I have made “mistakes” in my own mothering journey. That thought used to worry me until a priest told me to ask our Blessed Mother to fill in for me wherever I fall short. Since then, I have begged Our Lady almost every day to be with my children.
While I hope that my children always know they can turn to me with anything, more important for me is that they turn to the Blessed Mother. In fact, many of my Rosary intentions are for them: that they draw close to Mary in their joys and in their sorrows.
Mary’s love for her Son and for us is beautifully expressed in her many apparitions. In the midst of all of the uncertainty in the world right now, there is good reason to remember the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and to recall the words Our Lady spoke to Juan Diego.
As you recall, the Blessed Mother appeared to Juan Diego numerous times and asked him to carry a message to the Bishop—a request, in fact, to build a chapel in her honor on Tepeyac Hill, the site of a former pagan temple.
During this series of apparitions, Juan Diego’s uncle fell dangerously ill—and when Juan Diego went to find a priest, he actually tried to avoid encountering Our Lady—he knew that she would ask him to take another message to the Bishop, and he was too busy caring for his uncle. So he took a route that would avoid the site where she was appearing!
But the Blessed Mother surprised Juan Diego and appeared to him on the very path he took to go around her. Her words to him are amazing:
“Listen, put it into your heart, my youngest and dearest son, that the thing that frightens you, the thing that afflicts you, is nothing: do not let it disturb you…Am I not here, I who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need something more? Let nothing else worry you or disturb you.”
Aren’t these words consoling? How difficult it is for us to truly trust in God in the present moment! When facing sickness, anxiety, and an uncertain future, we tend to focus on those things which make us afraid. Yet by doing so, we are often confronted with more anxiety and more fear.
In recent days, I am guilty of not trusting in the will of God as I should. It is hard not to be overwhelmed in the face of all that is happening, so much of it being outside of our control. Lost jobs, Masses canceled, schools and colleges closed, possible exposure and the illness of loved ones—it’s difficult to be unafraid in this context.
We want to trust in God, but the truth is that we’re not used to placing our hope solely in Him. Our Blessed Mother is our perfect model. Relying only on the Lord, Mary comes to us right where we are, just as she did with Juan Diego. In the midst of sickness and fear she shows us what it means to trust in her Son. This is her mission: to offer us the only true remedy, Jesus Christ.
Mary spoke her last recorded words in Sacred Scripture at the wedding feast at Cana: “Do whatever He tells you.” That’s what Mary does—she always points us to Christ:
Jesus is our refuge, and Mary intercedes for us with Him. If we turn to her with confidence, we can be assured that she will bring our needs to her Son.
—Day 21, Full of Grace: A Digital Series on the True Story of the Rosary
May we always remember that Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, is right where we are—and she’s ready to console us in our own sorrows and fears with the loving care of a mother:
“Am I not here, I who am your Mother?”
This article was taken from the Good Catholic Series Full of Grace, which has received fantastic reviews from participants. Learn the truth about the Rosary, the history of the Rosary, the power of the Rosary, and much more by signing up. Perfect for Lent or any time of the liturgical year.