One afternoon, I dialed the numbers I've known for most of my life. I had a question for my mom.
The spiritual life is meant to be shared, but there are also deeply personal aspects that words cannot express and that hearts safeguard and treasure with the Lord.
I wondered if my mother’s relationship with Mary would be one of those things, but I wanted to know.
“Can you tell me about Mary being a spiritual mother to you, since your mother isn’t with you anymore?”
"It's comforting, but still hard," she told me.
We chatted about how Our Lady knows loss and pain, how she can be everything we need in a mother if we only let her, and how there are many ways we can identify with her. I'm still thinking over what my mom shared with me in light of today’s Gospel.
"Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart" (Luke 2:19). I don’t know what all the things were, but I can imagine because I also keep things in my heart.
The joy (and trepidation!) felt with a positive pregnancy test. The coos of my babies, their first steps.
I remember fear and worry when a child is lost, when my children suffer, when I can’t take away their pain. Mary knew this fear, too.
I keep memories of dandelion bouquets, bedtime snuggles, and signs of a maturing faith in my older children. These are among the many things I treasure in my heart.
I believe the Blessed Mother keeps all these things also in her heart. The joys and fears and wonders of motherhood. The joys of being our mother, too.
As an adopted child of God (see Galatians 4:5), I have faith that Mary looks on me with love as the Mother of God as though I am one of her own. I'm still growing to know Mary as the Mother of God and of me. Having a relationship with Mary as my heavenly mother is, to quote my earthly mother, quite comforting.
Have you thought about doing a Marian consecration? Read more about it here.
Gina Fensterer finds daily life to be perfect for practicing virtue and sometimes blogs about raising up saints (she has six children). She loves the Jesus prayer, long runs, and coffee at any time of day. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.