I never really got it! I thought I understood, but I didn’t. It wasn’t until my son played Jesus, on Good Friday, that it really hit me. I didn’t just cause Christ to suffer with my sinfulness, I caused Mary to suffer too.
It was so hard to see my son in silhouette suffering (even though it was only acting). I wanted to scream out for them to stop hurting him. To take me in his place. I was proud of him, but I wanted it to end…quickly.
Following that, we watched the Passion. I studied the face of Mary, watching the pain and concern written upon it. It hit me…I did that! We all did that, caused that much suffering on the face of Mary, Our Mother who loves us. God the Father can feel far away and removed sometimes. He’s God, I rationalize, He can handle anything. Mary, on the other hand, was just like us. A human moved by the human condition, moved by compassion, and suffering as she watched her Son suffer.
This experience has changed my prayer life. It has brought the Blessed Virgin’s humanity and suffering to me in a new way; a personal way. We often discuss a personal relationship with Christ, however, I am now developing a more personal relationship with Mary.
We Catholics do not worship Mary, we honor her. We appreciate her Fiat, her yes to God, her sacrifice and her love for her Son and all of us. The Rosary is a Christ-Centered, Gospel revealing prayer. We ask for Mary’s prayers, acknowledge her as our Blessed Mother, but the focus is still (as it should be) on Christ. She will always lead us to Him.
Viewing Mary in this way has forced me to question how well I love others. I wonder if I can love those who hurt me, the way Mary still loves me and all her sinful children, even though we cause her son to suffer. This is a challenging mandate, to love as she does, as He does. I hope that I can rise to the challenge! Mary, pray for us.
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