I’ve wondered, who is She really?
We can access The Word of God through the pages of Holy Scripture, and there we can hear Jesus’ voice, enabling us to form images of who He is as a person and as our Lord. A relationship is born as we reflect on His words and open up to them. But Mary? She speaks only four different times in all of Holy Scripture. And while Christians agree she has a vital role in Salvation History because she physically delivered Christ, it seems She often remains just a pretty face or solemn-looking statue tucked into a niche in the church. But, with a bit of effort and an open heart, Mary can become the most awesome conduit to Her Son. May is the month we honor Our Lady, so it is a special season to tap into Her grace.
Lucy Honner, CRC, Advisory Team Member at Regnum Christi Spirituality Center, an online resource for innovative evangelizing through digital content (www.rcspirituality.org), has suggested a few simple ways to grow closer to Mary. First, we can ask Mary, “Who are you, and may you help lead me to your Son?” Mary will not say no! Second, we can make a concerted effort to spend time with the Mother of God. Start to include a few minutes of prayer to Mary each day, or pray the rosary daily. Third, we can read about Mary. We can meditate on scripture passages where she appears: the Wedding at Cana, the foot of The Cross, and the Upper Room when the Holy Spirit descended. Experience these moments through Mary’s eyes. Lastly, we can entrust your intentions to Mary and make an Act of Consecration.
Several years ago, I came across 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley MIC. This “Do-it-yourself retreat in Marian Consecration” guides the reader through a daily reflection and short entry about one of the four giants of Marian consecration: Louis de Montfort, St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Mother Teresa, and St. Pope John Paul II. Each lived out their consecration to Jesus through Mary by dedicating their soul, mind, heart, and body to the heart of Mary. The “retreat” ultimately concludes with consecrating the participant’s heart to Our Lady—and a new way of life in Christ.
Mary’s job is to help us grow in holiness. It’s her mission to form us into saints—and she constantly intercedes on our behalf to help us get there. So, what does it mean to be an intercessor? The dictionary defines it as “a person who intervenes on behalf of another” and “a person who speaks to someone to defend or help another.” An intercessor stands in the gap for another. In biblical terms, Jesus is our uttermost and, for all times, greatest intercessor. He stands before God the Father as our ultimate advocate—constantly opening for us a channel to encounter His great love and mercy. But who is the one who always brings us to Jesus? Whether we realize it or not, it is his mother. From the start, she brought to the world the King of kings through her surrender and willingness to risk her life.
Mary’s fingerprints are everywhere. And even now, from her seat in heaven, she continuously calls us to Him. Just as any good mother would, she wants to protect and guide us and inspire us to be the best people we can be. And most of all, she wants us to know God’s extraordinary love so that we can be happy. The more we belong to her—the more we turn to her in prayer and trust—the more she can use us to accomplish God’s most perfect will. And the more we are united with her, the more she can bring us to the most profound possible intimacy with Jesus.
I love all the names we attribute to Our Lady. Here are a few:
Blessed Mother, Holy Mother of God, Spouse of The Holy Spirit, Holy Virgin of Virgins, Mother of the Church, Immaculate Conception, Immaculate Mother, Daughter of the Most High, Daughter of Zion, Mother of Mercy, Mother of Divine Grace, Mother of Good Counsel, Mother Most Pure, Mother of Perpetual Help, Mirror of Justice, Mystical Rose, Ark of the Covenant, Tabernacle of God, Tower of Ivory, Tower of David, Gate of Heaven, New Eve, Morning Star, Mediatrix of All Graces, Queen of Angels, Queen of the Holy Rosary, Queen of Peace, Queen of All Saints, Queen of Heaven, Undoer of Knots, Star of the Sea, Mother Most Sorrowful, Seat of Wisdom, Woman Clothed with the Sun.
All of Her names combined won’t do Her justice—but if we give our hearts to her, She promises to replace them with Her very own.
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the pride in the imagination of their hearts,
he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity forever.”
Luke 1, 48-55