Our non-Catholic brothers are missing out on one of the greatest blessings we enjoy as Catholics, our Holy Mother. One tends to over hear the oddest comments in busy restaurants. The other day (not meaning to eavesdrop but she was so loud! ) I overheard a diner state: Oh Mary is no big deal; she was just a vessel… That comment shook me to my core. She was just a vessel the same way Jesus was just a prophet!
On October 16, 2002, the 24th Anniversary of his election as Roman Pontiff, Blessed Pope John Paul II signed the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (the Rosary of the Virgin Mary) that presents the Rosary as an outstanding way to contemplate the face and mysteries of Christ. He also proclaimed a “Year of the Rosary”, which extended from October 2002 to October 2003.
For 900 years there have been three series of five mysteries in the Rosary: the Joyous (the infancy of Jesus), the Sorrowful (the Passion of Jesus), and the Glorious (Christ and Heaven). Given that in these 15 mysteries prayed up until now the great events of Christ’s public life were not contemplated, in the new apostolic letter the Pontiff adds five mysteries, which he calls the “mysteries of light”: 1) Jesus’s Baptism in the Jordan, 2) His self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, 3) His proclamation of the Kingdom of God with the invitation to conversion, 4) His Transfiguration on Mount Thabor, 5) His institution of the Eucharist. (http://www.michaeljournal.org/rosary.htm),
Mary was the chosen one. Just as the prophets before and the disciples afterwards. Mary was chosen by God to give birth, raise, nurture and be part of the death and resurrection of our Lord. Mary has been present through various apparitions being there to console and prod us in our faith. Father Michael E. Gaitley has published a treasure of a book allowing us to learn more about the Holy Mother and to consecrate ourselves to her. 33 Days to Morning Glory has 33 short daily reflections. These reflections are from devoted Marians including Blessed John Paul the II (to be canonized April 22, 2014).
There is one particularly powerful reflection in the book. It hits home because we have a daughter living in Los Angeles that we are constantly praying for. St. Maximilian Kolbe calls us to put our prayerful petitions in the Holy Mother’s hands. Then he goes a step further. He tells Her to use his prayer and sacrifices and use them for someone else in more dire need. Having full faith that Mary will get to our petition when it is really needed. That has helped me immensely. Even though we fear for our daughter’s safety I now put those fears in Mary’s hands. I pray to Her to first help those girls more in need than my daughter with the full faith of knowing my daughter will be protected when need be….. This reflection has brought great peace to me.
I was blessed that my father was a Marian devotee and hope my example awakens in my daughters the same love of Mary.
Mary Queen of Peace, pray for us!