You know those family stories you have, the ones that get told over and over again? My mom has one she likes to tell. It is about my gramma Margaret, my dad’s mom. My gramma used to say the rosary and pray that all four of her sons would marry good Catholic women. And wouldn’t you know it – they did! I hate to break it to you ladies, but if you accept Jesus’ invitation, you are going to be dating a mama’s boy (actually, I LOVE to break it to you).
Remember back when I brought up the story from Genesis, the creation of woman and her specific role? Eve was a helper, a helper for Adam. As women we share that common vocation and there is one woman who has an extra dose of that helpful nature, that woman is Mary, the Mother of God.
Immaculately conceived, meaning she is the only woman to be conceived without sin, she was not just a helper all those years ago, she is a helper still today. She is a helper for you to get to her Son, she wants to bring you to Him. As the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son, and the spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mary knows a love for the Trinity like we could never imagine, and just like her Son, she isn’t selfish, she wants you to know that love too.
In understanding Mary’s role in our lives and the part she plays in our spiritual nature, we have to go back to the first woman, Eve. Apart from the fact that they were both females, what do these two have in common? Think about that for a minute.
Perhaps you thought of them as both being mothers. Eve is our first mother, instructed by God to be fruitful and multiply. Mary is the mother of God, the creator of all. The role that both of these women played as mothers is vital to our story as human beings in the Body of Christ. Their duty was to bring life to the world. And where do we find the source of life? In God. Mary’s vocation was to bring God to the world, so desperately in need of a Savior after Eve’s mistrust of God brought the first sin.
Now that we have thought about what makes them similar, think about what makes them different. Eve, given all goodness to live in, fell for the lies of the devil and allowed him to make her believe God was withholding something good from her, she lost her trust in Him. Mary, young but pious, believed in God and His goodness. She gave Him her ultimate trust.
What Mary said yes to, carrying a child as an un-wed woman, was not something that would bring her esteem and respect. She risked uncertainty and great person danger to bring God’s life into the world. How scary a situation that could have been, it could have caused her to worry and question God’s goodness, but it didn’t. She placed her trust in the Lord, knowing that He only offers what is perfect and she became the mother of the living God.
While Eve’s “no” to God thrust us into a broken world, Mary’s “yes” delivered us the Messiah who breaks the chains of sin and death. This is how Mary became the new Eve, the faith filled Mother of Christ, and as mother of God, the mother of us all. She desires for us all the things a perfect Mother does, she trusted in the Lord and was honored with goodness. She wants to help us trust her Son and His Father just as much as she did, knowing that our trust will only lead us to goodness too. Mary wants to help us to overcome the impact that original sin has had on our lives and hearts.
Mary is the epitome of feminine beauty, the ultimate helper, what Mary is not, is a smother. You don’t have to worry about your Man being really in love with his mama, so much so, that He crowned her Queen of Heaven and Earth. His love for her is a good thing, it should be reassuring for you to know that God holds women in such high esteem, for through us, life comes into the world.
The Creator’s life giving power, out of love through the marital act, is nurtured through the body of a woman. Women have been granted the gift to bring God’s life into the world! Even if we are not biological mothers, we can still bring life into the world through spiritual motherhood and serve the Body of Christ with the maternal nature gifted to every woman. Mary knows all too well the blessings and hardships of motherhood. She wants what is best for all her children, she wants what is best for you.
I know, I know, meeting your boyfriend’s family can be nerve racking, but with the Holy Family, it doesn’t have to be. That’s the thing about Jesus, He’s kind of a package deal, and that’s the beauty of the Trinity – three distinct persons, with different titles and attributes, yet one God. Mary knows better than anyone the different relationships that are to be had with each member of the Trinity. Her knowledge and closeness with God her Father, her son Jesus and her spouse, the Holy Spirit, allows Mary to be the best possible matchmaker, much better than me!
Think about dating someone on earth. If you were interested in him and were trying to feel out the waters, you could go right up to him, strike up a conversation and hope for the best. There is nothing wrong with that, and it can work. But say you were a little nervous, a little uncertain and thought – I wish I didn’t have to do this alone, I wish I had someone to go talk me up to him before I make a move. If you’re a crafty lady, you might think to yourself – I should go talk to his mom first! I mean, she raised him, knows all about him and he loves her so much. It would mean a lot if she told him I was a catch.
That’s what Mary can do for us with Jesus. Yes, absolutely we can go directly to Him, but He doesn’t mind if you go ask His mama for help. He loves her, He crowned her Queen of Heaven and Earth. By going to Mary, we can ask her to guide us to her Son. We can ask her to help us overcome our weaknesses, to be better, because we want to be better for Him. She will help us.
I also find, as a woman, sometimes when I have requests, I would just rather talk about it to another woman, someone who has been there. Mary is that relatable woman. I mean she even knows what it is like to go in search of Jesus; she lost Him once! I can’t image what it was like for her when she was traveling to realize Jesus wasn’t with the caravan anymore. I would be a wreck! I’m sure Mary’s trust in God kept her much calmer than I would have been, but I also think she did probably worry.
Her patience and trust were not in vain and we all know she found Him in the Temple, the House of His Father. Imagine what it would be like if we allowed Mary to take us with her on that search mission, to show us the way to the House of our Father and the Holy of Holies that dwells within.
I can’t think of a better guide on this journey than a mother. So gentle, so kind, so loving. A mother full of faith and feminine beauty. A mother equipped with the spiritual strength of a thousand armies, yet gentle enough to hold our hand in hers and minister to us in our fear and doubt. When I find myself falling for the vanity so abundant in this world, or I become overwhelmed with self-doubt, I imagine laying my head on my Holy Mother’s lap, her soft hand stroking my hair and wiping the tears of shame off my cheeks. As I am engulfed by the compassion of Mama Mary I can sense her look to her Son and hear the tenderness in her voice as she speaks to Him, “have pity on my daughter, in Your mercifulness, set her free. Come to her and flood her heart with Your love.”
If you’re struggling my dear sister, I invite you to get to know our Heavenly Mother. If you already have a strong devotion to Mary, keep it up! It will only help you get closer and closer to her Son. If you aren’t someone who feels close to Mary, don’t be discouraged. Don’t feel overwhelmed that you are trying to get closer to Jesus and now I’m throwing another person into the mix for you to mingle with. The closer that you get to Jesus, the more He is going to want to introduce you to His incredible Mother.