This week, we draw our gaze to the Blessed Mother, illustrating the beauty of her intercession, as she cares for each of us as her own, granting us consolation, relief, love and protection.
By: Therese Bermpohl, Director of the Office for Family Life
Below are several reflections written by those who have a great devotion to the Blessed Mother. I’m hoping that their testimonies can serve as a reminder of Mary’s constant care and maternal protection. Just as She interceded for the couple at the wedding feast at Cana and for each person highlighted in the stories below, She desires to intercede for each of us, in all areas of our lives.
A wife and mother and convert to Catholicism
I was first introduced to the Church in my early twenties and while I never initially thought I would join this Church, I was very quickly halted by the teaching on the Eucharist. I spent many hours reading about the Eucharist, thinking about the Eucharist and praying about it. My simple prayer eventually just became, “Lord, is it true?” I wasn’t sure how, but I knew He would reveal the truth to me. About a year into my search, I had a dream one afternoon in which the Blessed Mother appeared to me and revealed the greatest truth to me. She revealed that yes, her Son is indeed in the Eucharist: body, blood, soul and divinity, and she revealed that He was calling me to Him in this most precious Eucharist. Her only words to me were “Come to my Son.” That was it. Simple. True. Profound. And, for me, life-changing. She didn’t say a word about herself. She didn’t coerce, scare, or threaten. She just told me the truth—gently and lovingly. And then she waited. It was more than a year later before I finally took the plunge and decided to convert. All along, I know She was there, waiting and working for me. Just like a Mother; never leaving her child’s side. Never thinking one of Hers is beyond hope. Now, as a mother of three little ones with a fourth on the way, I look to Her to continue to guide me in the most important work I will ever do—leading my little ones to Christ.
Coming out of a very dark place in my life, I was repentant but still desperate for relief from the guilt, anxieties and confusion that pressed down on me in every waking moment. All I could do was to call out for help throughout the day, praying a rosary with the beads or just using my fingers. My mind was rarely recollected, more frantic and obsessive, but at least I had something to grab onto. Six months into this desperate practice, I slowly was calmed, comforted and so I surrendered, realizing that it wasn’t something I was doing (praying the rosary) but Someone I was meeting (Our Blessed Mother). Like a good mother who knows just how to quiet each child, She quieted me in Her embrace so much so, a short time later, I could hear Her Son’s invitation to His Priesthood.
I lost my job in March 2009. Shortly thereafter, I began praying a daily rosary. I finally got an interview in the summer of 2010. I prayed a rosary on the way to the interview asking that it would go well. I arrived 30 minutes early, so I parked at a shopping center about a half mile away to collect my thoughts. At about ten minutes until my appointment I tried to start my truck. The battery was dead and it started raining. After several failed attempts to start my car, I realized I had to start walking. I had walked about 100 yards and made it to the intersection to cross the street and in a bit of a panic began praying Hail Mary’s, asking for some sort of miracle to arrive on time to the interview. Without an umbrella or rain jacket, my suit was starting to get pretty wet. As I made it to the cross walk, I looked up and my brother just happened to be pulling up to the stop light. I could not believe it! I flagged him down and he drove me the rest of the way to the interview and I walked in the door with just a few minutes to spare. The interview went well and I was offered a job.
Young wife and mother
One of the most memorable “Mary” moments was when I was newly pregnant with my now 3- year-old daughter. After three years of trying to conceive and after one miscarriage, I finally became pregnant. But once again, I began bleeding badly and knew that I needed Divine Intervention. I was babysitting a friend’s child at the time, and I found myself staring at a statue of the Blessed Mother. I felt an immediate connection. I looked Her in the face and said out loud, “Mary, Mother to mother, you know how badly I want this baby, please intercede for me.” I knew wholeheartedly that She heard me. I was flooded with peace. I knew that She was going to take care of it for me. I remember everything about that moment like it was yesterday.
Several years ago, I had a falling out with a friend. I had felt unjustly accused and spent weeks churning over the incident. Finally, tired of the mental gymnastics, I stopped into a church and called upon the Blessed Mother for assistance. I suddenly received an image: I became the size of a small child. She showed me a black tar-like substance seeping from my heart. As She leaned in to wipe it away, the Blessed Mother made it clear that the black “stuff” was the anger, bitterness and resentment that I was harboring toward my friend. She then took me in her arms and handed me over to her Son, letting me know that it was through Jesus that I would find the strength to forgive and to be forgiven. My peace returned and I was able to heal my relationship with my friend.
Wife and mother
I had worked on the budget for hours until it was clear there was no fat, no wiggle room and no ends meeting. My husband was self-employed and the taxes were swallowing his income faster than our teens were devouring food. Then, unexpectedly and through no fault of his own, his income went away completely. Although I should have known better, should have been more trusting, I gave in to panic.
I remember that morning in March when I went out onto the chilly backyard deck to complain to the Blessed Mother in private so that the kids wouldn’t see my tears. In a stream-of-consciousness intense prayer from the heart, I poured out everything to my Heavenly Mother. I had done all I could to budget well. My husband was working 12-hour days, six days a week in service to the Church. We were trying to raise godly children and to do something in service to the Kingdom. We weren’t trying to get rich. I just wanted to be able to pay our bills! This was not fair. This was not the cruise we had signed up for. I was mad. I told her so. I was frightened. She knew that.
Then, much as I had calmed my own kids when they were mid-tantrum as toddlers, cupping my hand under their chins and making them look me in the eyes and listen to my whisper, Our Lady directed my gaze to the bare trees behind our house. “How is this helpful?” demanded the spiritual toddler. “Look!” She insisted. And then I saw it: one lone tree was full of buds. “Hope!” She commanded, “We’ve got this.” I was flooded with peace. I could only apologize to Her for my lack of faith, hope and charity. Shortly after that, amazing things started happening faster than you would believe. Unless you really know your Mother, that is.
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