Imagine a huge cathedral. The most beautiful one in the world. You enter through the back doors, looking past endless rows of pews to the altar all the way at the front. It seems to be a mile away.
Mary, the Mother of God, appears to your right. She extends her hand to walk with you towards the altar. When you take her hand, there's an immediate peace that overtakes you and all the world's problems seem to disappear . . .
This is how I've begun some of my most intimate encounters with Jesus in quiet prayer. Mary plays a very important role in my relationship with Jesus. What if you began your prayer this way?
Mary is our Mom, We are the Beloved Disciple
You see, Mary is our Mother, whether we want her to be or not. God, our Father has made it so through His son's words. He knew our need for a motherly presence in the spiritual realm. So, with His dying breath, 'Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there whom He loved, He said to his mother, ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏWoman, behold, your son.' Then He said to the disciple, ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏBehold, your mother'' (John 19:26-27).
Many scripture scholars say that the 'disciple there whom He loved' is left ambiguous so that we can place ourselves next to Mary at the foot of the cross. While this leads to a great reflection, by looking at the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) we know more specifically that the disciple is actually John.
The Book of Revelation Reveals the Truth About Mary
You know the book of Revelation? That scary book of the bible that no one talks about? Well, many Church Fathers claim that it was written by John, the beloved disciple.
In Revelation, Chapter 12, there is a story of a dragon (Satan) who wages war against a woman who we quickly identify as Mary, the mother of God. The dragon fails to destroy 'the woman' and in verse 17 John writes:
'Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus.'
We are Mary's spiritual offspring. This is undeniable.
Do Not Be Afraid of Loving Mary 'Too Much'
This Holy Week, don't be afraid to talk to Mary in prayer just like you talk to Jesus. Her life's vocation is to bring us to Jesus. Saint Maximilian Kolbe tells us:
'Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin Mary too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did and if anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his mother, he will not have Christ for his brother.'
So let's be fearless in our relationship with Mary. A relationship with Mary is Biblical. The greatest saints fostered very personal relationships with her and Jesus is asking us to let her be our Mother.
How to Begin Growing in a Relationship with Your Spiritual Mother
Here are some specific suggestions to grow in a relationship with Mary:
- Say a prayer each day asking Jesus to help you desire a relationship with Mary and to understand its importance in your life.
- Pray a decade of the Rosary each day. Focus specifically on imagining a mystery of the Rosary and asking Mary to help you see the story through her eyes.
- Write down all of your concerns about having a relationship with Mary. Talk about these with your parents, your Youth Minister, or someone older than you that you trust.