Faith and Family

My daughter, Jaziel, who just turned 17 this summer, was talking to me the other day about some of the things she learned while helping at the Schoenstatt Summer Girls Camps.  One of the concepts brought home to her by one of the Schoenstatt Sisters was the idea that Our Blessed Mother takes perfect care of us.  This is how she expressed it when I asked her to write a little bit more about it:

“We are running around all over the place, trying to make sure everything is in order, worrying constantly over what could be and what might happen, and just being plain stressed out. There could be a big event, assignment or speech that you’re nervous about. Maybe things on your schedule are conflicting or confusing. A personal issue going on seems to be turning your life upside down.  You might feel alone and maybe forgotten in the big rush of the world.

“You are not alone.

“By your side is a beautiful, gentle, pure, holy mother. She looks at you with her eyes of mercy and tenderness. With her Immaculate Heart overflowing with love for you, her child, she turns to her Divine Son in intercession while embracing you close. Mary, Mother of God, and from the cross our mother, too, is that mother.  Look at her, in the good times and the bad. Go to her. She will always have your back even when it seems like no one else does.

“Mother takes perfect care.

“Mother takes perfect care. A loving mother always does everything she can to help her children and take care of them.  If she sees they’re in trouble she hurries over and gets them out of danger. If a child runs up to her and calls out, ‘Mommy, mommy! I can’t find my shoe!’ she will help them find it or tell them where she saw it. When they’re out and about, she will hold their hand so they don’t get lost. She’s always there at their side, through thick and thin. When they grow up and move out, she will keep thinking, praying and keeping in touch. Her love is so strong; it is not to be underestimated.

“Now think: Mary, our heavenly mother is like that. When she was on earth, during the wedding of Cana, she saw the trouble of the newly married couple, probably before they even knew what was going on. She went to Jesus and interceded on their behalf, ‘They have no wine.’ Through her, the couple were well taken care of. Mother takes perfect care.

“Recently, I had to take a math test to get into a college program. Math isn’t really my forte. I studied for the test, and I entrusted my math to Mary, as Queen of Math and Tests (because she is). She’s the Queen of Heaven and Earth and our queen, too, so she can be queen of any situation in our life. A queen is in charge and takes care of whatever she is queen of, so when I crown her specifically as Queen of something, I know she will take charge and take care of what I entrusted to her. And I also prayed a morning dedication. When I was stuck, I would ask for her help. I know my mom was praying for me, too. I wasn’t expecting that I would do extraordinarily well, but when I got the results, I had gotten one of the highest scores. I knew then that Mary had helped me because sometimes when I was stuck, I would suddenly notice something I missed or remember how to solve a problem I had forgotten how to work out. Mother takes perfect care.

“You can be confident that Mary will take care of you. Just look up into her face. Maybe it would be helpful to look at an image of our Blessed Mother, perhaps to raise your eyes upwards and say a special prayer.  She will look down lovingly on you and help you. No matter what, just remember these four words. They’ll remind you to ask for help. They will remind you to have hope when there is something sad or confusing happening. They will remind you to trust: Mother takes perfect care.”

I could not agree more with what my teenaged daughter wrote.  Our Mother is ready, able and willing to help us in our need, rescue us when we are in danger and generally assist us to return to the Father’s house and the narrow path which leads to life.

Two Hearts that Beat in Unison

The Blessed Virgin Mary’s heart beats in unison with the Sacred Heart of her divine son.  Her will is united entirely to his.  Therefore, in all our ups and downs we can trust that her motherly help will be totally united to God’s divine plan.  I personally felt a peace overcome me when I heard these words come out of my daughter’s mouth.  Our world is in turmoil, our families are hurt, divided and misguided, our own hearts are troubled and traumatized.  But we have a Mother in Heaven who knows our human condition, we have a Mother who knows the right path to follow and we have a Mother who can help us through it — grow through it, heal through it and learn through it.  In her motherly heart, we have rest and a secure home.

Brave and Humble

Let us be brave and humble at the same time — brave enough to step out in faith in the Mother of God; brave enough to trust her whom God the Father trusted with his divine son; brave enough to follow where she leads, whether that be the kitchen or the workshop or the road to Calvary; brave enough to listen to her advice, whether to say less and cherish things in our hearts or to do as Jesus tells us.  Humble enough to admit we don’t have all the answers and don’t have the power to make all, or even some, of the changes we truly desire, humble enough to recognize our tremendous need and humble enough to ask for help from a mother who will not abandon us or forsake us.  In a word, growing closer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whether through prayer such as the Hail Mary, or the Memorare or the Holy Rosary, or through a Marian Consecration, such as St. Louis de Montfort’s “Preparation for Total Consecration,” St. Maximilian Kolbe’s “9-day Formal Consecration to Mary,” Fr. Michael Gaitley’s “33 Days to Morning Glory” or Schoenstatt’s “Covenant of Love,” will help us to be like her — brave like her, humble like her — and slowly but surely we will begin to imitate and reflect her many virtues.  Her wise and tender assistance will be perfectly compatible with our state of life, our personality and our life situation.  She truly does take perfect care.