I've never had the best relationship with our Mother Mary. I've never known how to pray to her or what to say. What can she help me with? Is she someone who can answer my prayers? Why would I pray to her if I can just pray to God? Of course I've prayed the rosary so many times in my life. But that's the closest I've gotten with her.
Lately, I've felt a little tug from her. To invite her in. To pray to her and ask for her intercession. Of all people, she could relate to what I'm going through the most. I have three kids with special needs. I've watched them suffer their whole lives, and it's only been 5 years. My oldest son has Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, a rare genetic mutation, and a host of other medical issues. My middle son was born with multiple physical disabilities which have mostly been corrected with surgeries. And then my daughter has the same genetic mutation as my oldest son.
All three of my kids are developmentally delayed and have weekly therapies and numerous doctor appointments every month. They've been through so much in just their short lives so far. It's hard for me as a mother to watch my kids suffer. So who better to understand my feelings than our Blessed Mother? She watched her son go through the worst kind of suffering any human has ever endured.
I realized Mary isn't the one who answers my prayers, but she can intercede on my behalf. She's the closest person to Jesus so she's probably the best person for me to ask to pray for me and my family. Why wouldn't I want her on my side?
At the end of last year I started to feel that nudge from Our Lady. Within a few months my church started a weekly Mom's Rosary Group that I am now a part of. We had an Advent by Candlelight event where the talk was about Mary. A priest friend had recently finished his dissertation on Mary and The Church. I had also been talking about Mary with my spiritual director. She was calling out to me and I have finally accepted her invitation.
My son struggles with chronic constipation. A few weeks after the Advent by Candlelight event, he was in a lot of pain and hadn't had a bowel movement in 1.5 weeks. When this happens he doesn't sleep well and wakes up multiple times in the night. This particular night I finally laid down with him in his bed and rubbed his tummy for him. I was surprised that 1) he let me lay with him, and 2) let me rub his tummy.
It was really sad because of how much pain he was in, yet such a beautiful moment together. Mother and son. A mother trying to comfort her son in pain. I cried with him. I prayed that his agony would be over soon. I called on Mary to be with us. I truly sensed her presence in that moment. I felt like her at the foot of the cross holding her son in her arms.
I ended up taking my son to the ER the next day. But that moment the night prior was a pivotal moment in my relationship with Mary. I've been building a relationship with her since. I started out by asking her to tell me how to love her and pray to her. I end all my prayers now by asking her to pray for me.
Mary is the perfect example of how to be a good mother. She's patient, beautiful, humble, and pure. She's someone I look up to and she makes me want to become a better mother to my kids. She's the best person to understand me and my family and I love that I can call on her for her intercession in prayer.
Kate lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. You can read her writing at her blog This Special Journey.