Tuesday, December 22, 2020

All Generations Shall Call Her Blessed

“...all generations will call me blessed: ​the Almighty has done great things for me, ​and holy is his Name.” Luke 1:48-49

When I was young, I was quite “allergic” to the Virgin Mary. My father was of the Protestant faith, and my mother a Catholic. I was actually baptized twice, first in the Methodist church, then in the Catholic. We used to go to the Methodist service, and then to attend mass every Sunday. But then I would compare, and I liked going to Sunday school at the Methodist church, where there were other kids, and lessons, and orange juice. My mother did not like that, and they stopped bringing me. 

Growing up, I did not pray the Hail Mary, much less the rosary. I just talked to God without using any formula prayers, and ever since I can remember, I had a journal where I wrote my prayers of thanksgiving, petitions, and musings about my life. Thinking back I do not remember when Mary became a part of my prayer life. It was a gradual awakening, like I felt an envy of others who had a mother who would always bring her children closer to Jesus. At the wedding in Cana, when there was a lack of wine, Mary took it as her own burden, and asked Jesus to do something about it. At first He said it was not yet time, but He made the water into wine anyway. He could not resist her, she was His mother after all. Perhaps, I thought, I could approach her with my own petitions, and I started doing that. And then eventually I felt guilty, like I was ‘using’ her as I was piling up all my intercessions on her. I asked forgiveness for the heavy burden and I immediately felt her say in my heart, “I have infinite time.” 

It was not the first instance she spoke to me. In 2009, we went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, Assisi, San Giovanni Rotonda, and other holy places, when my mother was diagnosed with tongue cancer. We went to so many churches and one of them was the Basilia di San Francesco, which housed the tomb of St. Francis. I was asking for Mother Mary’s intercession for the healing of my own mother, and a feeling of comfort washed over me. She said, “Healing always comes.” 

Others perhaps may not feel the need to ask for Mary’s intercession, but as I have gotten older, I have realized that the burden is lighter when many people are praying. Now that my brother is in the hospital, I have asked friends, and brothers and sisters in our covenant community for prayers. I have asked prayer groups on Facebook for prayers, and many have responded generously. Why cannot I ask the saints and our blessed mother to share the burden as well? 

Every time we recite the Apostle’s Creed, we profess belief in the communion of saints, the ‘communio sanctorum’, the spiritual community of the faithful followers of Christ, living and those in heaven more fully alive than we are. When we gather in Christ’s name, we worship with believers we cannot see, those who came before us, and maybe even those that will come after us. God’s people after all are not bound by space and time. And so when I ask Mama Mary and the saints to intercede with me before the Father, I am assured that there are many voices chiming in with mine. Truly, I feel blessed to be one with a vast community, a body bound by the love of Christ. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your faith journey. These are things I have pondered. Your painting is lovely too. May your Christmas be blessed and also your brother.


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