Last week, I was kind of frustrated, so I decided to take a bike ride. I was riding around for a little bit, when I remembered seeing this old chapel that I wanted to check out. This chapel is from the 1800’s and sits in the middle of a wide open field, between three trees, on the outskirts of our village. It’s very small and can fit no more than four people inside of it, scrunched together. Once I got to the chapel, I opened the door, walked in, and noticed something a little odd. This chapel was a Mary chapel, dedicated specifically to the Blessed Mother.
I really don’t like Mary, so, the fact that God brought me to a Mary chapel when I was frustrated and needed to pray, only made me more frustrated. All I could think to myself was, “Really God, really? You know I strongly dislike your Mother, yet you lead me to a chapel dedicated specifically to her. What the heck?” In that moment, I felt like God was telling me that the only reason I was in Germany right now was so that I could meet His Mother. This made me so mad, because that was the last thing I wanted to do.
Fast forward a week. Since that day, God has led me to another tiny Mary chapel in a random location, has put several Mary prayer cards in Mass song books that I’ve picked up, and He won’t let me go more than an hour without hearing someone talk about His Mother. God has been shoving His Mother down my throat!
Earlier this evening, my mission base spent a little over an hour in the chapel doing praise and worship in honor of All Saints Day. While this was going on, I sat in the pew and just gave in to God. I was so sick of Him putting images of His Mother everywhere I went, that I would do anything to make it stop. As I sat in the chapel praying, I decided to pray about Mary and why God wants me to know her. Through this prayer, I decided that I was going to try talking to Mary and introduce myself to her.
I sat in my pew and started telling Mary all about myself. I told her my name, what I’ve been through, that I’m a missionary, my favorite ice cream flavor, etc. At one point during this one-way dialogue, I started telling Mary about how I used to sleep with a rosary wrapped around my wrist. In that moment, it hit me. One of my biggest issues with Mary, was that she had never been there in my life and I thought that she could care less about me. Why care about her if she could care less about me, right? As I sat there telling her about my life, I started to realize that she was always there, looking out for me, especially in the last couple of years.
My youth minister gave me my first rosary when I was 17. I had a rosary before I even had my own bible. As I started growing more and more in my faith, I had to break away from a lot of sinful habits that I had developed over the years and Mary helped me out big time. Near the end of my senior year of high school I started wearing a rosary around my neck because it made me feel safe. I used to sleep with a rosary around my wrist because it made me feel protected and comforted me when nothing else did. My favorite song in the world is the Salve Regina, a song specifically about Mary. Through all of this, I started to realize how much Mary has been in my life and how much she actually does care about me.
While her son was off molding and forming my heart, Mary was right there to comfort me. It’s not that God didn’t comfort me, because He did, but a lot of times I would ignore God’s comfort and cling to the comfort of His mother. I realized that through all the years that I was away from the Church, all the years that I didn’t like God at all, Mary still had her hand on me. I was never more than an arm’s length away from her mantle, and she was there to comfort and protect me through all the times that I would ignore her son. She was there to comfort me in the same way that she comforted her son, our Savior, when He was dying on the cross.
As I walked out of the chapel, all that I could say to myself was, “I guess I kind of like Mary now.” It’s funny how God works. Yesterday, I strongly disliked Mary; today, I found out who she really is. Now, I can’t stop thinking about her, and I plan on spending the rest of the year learning more about her and falling deeper in love with her. After all, she is the Mother of God!