If we believe what we pray and we pray according to our belief, is it reasonable to imagine that at the hour of our death, or that of a loved one, Mary will remain silent? Is it reasonable to think that she will not intercede for every soul as it leaves the body? Is it even imaginable to think that she is far away from any of us?
Mother of God,
Pray for us, sinners,
And at the hour of our death.
The idea that the Mother of God would ignore our prayer for the soul of a loved one and for our own is irrational.
It is reasonable to feel the pain of loss that Mary felt watching her son die on the cross. Who can watch a son or daughter die and not feel as if the heart is being ripped out of her? “Many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul” (Luke 2:35).
The Immaculate Mother of God was not spared the pain of loss. However, she chose to hurt and trust at the same time.“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word,” (Luke 1:38).
The Sacred Scripture never says that the Blessed Virgin Mary didn’t suffer.
“And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold your father and I have sought you with great anxiety” (Luke 2:48).
Feeling concern and anxiety for a loved one does not have to conflict with the Faith. Suffering, for oneself or a loved one, is the most noble sign of our humanity. Only the man who reaching his full stature as a human being can suffer for another and trust that Christ will always respond to his mother’s intercession.
“Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them” (Luke 2:51).
“When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’
His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’
And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So, they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew),” (John 2:3-9).
With a single sentence, the Immaculate convinces her compassionate Son.
It is important to remember that the “reception” at a Jewish wedding lasted an entire week. Mary intercedes when they have run out of wine. They had been drinking for a while, maybe more than a day.
If the Immaculate can open the door to her son’s heart for people who were drinking, having fun, and probably not paying much attention to Him, we can rest in the certainty that she has the key to the Sacred Heart of Christ. No one who asks her to “pray for us sinners” will be denied her intercession. Our Lord Jesus Christ will always hear his mother’s prayers and do whatever is for the greater glory of his Father and the salvation of souls.
Those who have not spoken to the Immaculate in a very long time (or never) can always begin today. She is the mother with the Immaculate Heart. She forgives! She understands human weakness. She has seen man’s lack of faith for centuries. And she has been a witness to man’s greatest acts of cruelty and injustice. Despite this, Mary allows us to take her into our very human homes, as sinful as they may be.
She needed only the word from her Son to crush the head of the Serpent that haunts us all. From that moment forward, she remains in our home as Mother.
“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home”(John 19:26-27).
The Immaculate Mother whom we contemplate at the foot of the Cross on Good Friday, is our Sorrowful Mother. Her sorrow is caused by the sins that her Son must carry on his back and the penance that he must do purely out of love, not because he was guilty of any fault of his own.
There is a difference between a sorrowful mother and a pitiful mother. The latter is one for whom we feel sorrow because she’s an imperfect and perhaps a mother who has not owned her maternity. Mary, on the other hand, is the mother who feels the pain of sin inflicted on her innocent Son. She feels the weight of man’s sinfulness. She experiences great sorrow, not for herself, but for the sinner redeemed by the suffering servant that she brought into the world.
There is no room in her Immaculate Heart for anything else than love, crushed by sorrow but never extinguished. This makes it possible for her to enter our homes as Mother and mediate for us the graces that her Son earned through His most sorrowful Passion, till we reach that perfection of charity which is the perfect fulfillment of Our Lady’s one and only commandment: “Do whatever He tells you”. Let us make this our meditation as the Holy Week begins.
“O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us that have recourse to you,
and for all those who do not have recourse to you,
especially the enemies of holy Church
and those recommended to you“.
-Prayer of the Knights of the Immaculate