My Mother Mary

When I was growing up I often passed by my parent’s bedroom to see my Mom on her knees praying.    I also remember her sitting in the corner of the couch with her rosary.  I remember my Dad with a Bible.  We had a Spanish Bible along with the English version so that he could practice his language skills.    These are strong images for a child to carry out into the world.  Church on Sunday, prayers before bed, and Catholic grade school are some of the ways I was molded in faith.

Madonna and Child (Galleria Borghese, Rome) Oi...

Madonna and Child (Galleria Borghese, Rome) Oil on canvas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the years that faith grew.  I’m sad to say that my “devotion” to Mary never really developed as it could have.  Not that I didn’t try – I sang the Ave Maria at weddings, funerals, and retreats that I myself designed.  I sang it as the prayer it should be.  I spoke with people who had a very strong attachment to Mary, but I suppose that since my devotion to Jesus was so strong I didn’t feel a need to pursue a relationship with her.  And I have a mom and a pretty great mother-in-law, so why the need?

It occurred to me not too long ago that I might be missing out on something, so I decided to make an effort to allow Mary into my life.  A mother’s love is a coveted emotion.  When we lived in Mexico I was actually annoyed that devotion to Mary seemed to top devotion to Jesus.  Then I saw a sign by the road that said, “All to Jesus through Mary.  All to Mary for Jesus.”  Oh……I got it then.  It really is all about the love of a mother and child after all.

Pieta Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church,  Wickliffe, Ohio

Pieta
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Wickliffe, Ohio

Sometimes I ask her to wrap a mantle of protection around my (young adult) kids.  When they were little Tom and I could be the protective ones, but honestly, how can we protect them now when they live in different cities?   Mary, however, can lift them to the Lord for me.  I like that.

I’m praying the rosary more.  When I consider the different mysteries I try to make it more personal.   So in the Joyful Mystery of the Annunciation I pray for every woman to find hope in the announcement of her pregnancy. In the Visitation I pray that every woman has help from a friend to accompany her and support her.  In the Birth of Christ I thank God for my own children and pray that every child will be allowed to live, and I pray for every child born with challenges, and every parent who suffers the loss of a child.  You get the idea.  The “Hail Mary” becomes the backdrop of the prayer.

I just decided (yesterday) that I’m going to start calling her “Mother.”  I have my “mom” and now I’m going to consider what place a spiritual “mother” may have in my life. This one may take some practice, but it feels kind of promising.

In hope,

Peggy

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About Peggy Angelino

Peggy and her husband, Tom, live in the Houston area. They have three young adult children. She is a former Respiratory Therapist and earned a Catechist Certificate in 2012 from the Diocese of Galveston-Houston.
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