I spent a lot of evenings in tears my first semester of college. Night after night I plodded through the hall in my pajamas and slippers and downstairs to the ground floor chapel to pour my heart out before a traveling replica image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, our Marian feast day today.
God was healing me so deeply that my heart physically ached. He stripped away layers of pain and hurt and poured in His love. Honestly, I cannot even remember what I needed healing from, just that I was broken and needed to be loved by Him.
Looking back I see that He was preparing my heart for my future life, the one I am living now with my husband and children.
Thirteen years later, I encountered the traveling replica image again in an adoration chapel at woman’s conference. I saw her and my heart leapt, and I felt her call to me to pray with her awhile. So, I did, just like those days in college when I wept out my sorrows of loss and told her all my fears.
This woman who consoled me, was the same woman we hear about in the Gospel today, bravely accepting God’s will with all of its joys and sorrows. She is the same woman who appeared to Saint Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531, and whose image miraculously appeared on his tilma after he gathered the miraculous roses.
She said to him: “Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”
She is our Mother who wants to console our sorrows and relieve our fears, and wants us to come to her so that she can lead us to her Son.
As I prayed before her image surrendering my sorrows, fears, my health, and my very life to her care, I was washed over with a sense of trust and hope. And my burdened heart believed again that “nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
Read more about this amazing story set in Mexico, and the Saint whose testimony converted a nation.
Susanna Spencer is the Theological Editor for Blessed is She who studied theology and philosophy in her earlier life. She happily cares for her three adorable little girls, toddler boy, and her dear husband in Saint Paul when not writing and editing. She loves beautiful liturgies, cooking delicious meals, baking amazing sweets, reading good books, raising her children, casually following baseball, and talking to her philosopher husband. You can find out more about her here. She is the Theological Editor of both the Catechism Studies and the Mystery Studies.