Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, one of the many times during the year when Our Blessed Mother takes a central role in the liturgy. Special days help us to celebrate the importance of the ordinary and familiar things in our lives. For example the way we mark our own mother’s birthday, the person we depend on so much, love with feelings beyond words, admire with all our heart and soul, our living treasure. Her birthday gives us a chance to offer something back, a way of saying thanks for everything you do, day by day. Mother’s are so often unsung and don’t hear nearly enough praise and thanks, but listen today, on your birthday in this gift, this gathering, this card, this call, let me say thanks for everything, thanks for being you, thanks for watching over us and please appreciate we adore you. So if we can act in this way to the mother in our lives then by extension the Mother of God, in our spiritual life, is also right there, all the time, caring, protecting, interceding for us.
When my dad was a boy, he was looked after by his mother, gran and elderly aunt. His father had died at just 36, when my dad was 6. These three ladies loved the rosary, and at that time gathering for this shared prayer was common in Ireland. Often just after the evening meal, chairs turned out from the table, beads in hand, kneeling on the hard floor, the family rosary was about 20 minutes of prayer and intercession, with all the trimmings. We didn’t have this tradition in our house. My dad often recalled that the call in for the rosary, of a summer’s evening, when he was out playing on the green with his friends, was a killer! So in our house we had to find our own way to pray to Mary, private rosary, pause for Angelus, but for me it was always a joy to light a candle at the shrine you can find in every church. Even to this day when I am on holidays and drawn into the cool interior of churches, I always find my way to Our Lady’s Altar and sit a while, pray for everyone who has asked for prayers and ask for Mary’s help and protection.
My mother has been in heaven with the Queen of Heaven for over 30 years and I do admit that praying to one often includes the other. It’s a very natural thing to hope that those we loved, who have gone before us, would be with the Lord, the saints and of course close to Mary. Together they intercede for our needs, watch over our lives and send their angels to protect us.
So in whatever way suits you best do join with the common prayers to Our Lady on her Feast Days, make your prayer to her everyday and know that she is a light for your path, a comfort in your sorrows and a companion in all the good that life brings.
Holy Mary, mother of God, Pray for us.