Growing up, I never had a devotion to Mary. I mean, I liked the idea of her . . . but I didn't have a relationship with her. The Virgin Mother was a porcelain statue, a gold-etched picture on a Christmas card. She wasn't real to me. My only connection to her, at best, was a panicked 'Hail Mary' before a pop-quiz.
What I've learned is that Mary is way more than a boring stained glass window. She lived an exciting life and did amazing things. And outside of Jesus, she is one of the greatest gifts we've been given as Catholics. Although I didn't have a relationship with Mary growing up, I have fallen in love with my mother since then, and let me tell you: OUR MAMA ROCKS!
Here are the top five reasons why:
She's God's Mother
Think about this, over the centuries prophets and kings spoke of the coming of Christ. What makes Mary so amazing, is she didn't just 'talk' or bare witness to His coming: she bore Jesus. She actually carried Him (the God of the Universe) in her womb and brought Him to life. That is a big deal!!!
As God's Mother, she deserves our reverence. In the gospel of Luke, the angel appears saying, 'Hail Mary, full of grace' (Luke 1:28). In Mary's Magnificat she proclaims, 'From now on all generations will call me blessed' (Luke 1:49). The mother of a king is given a place of honor next to the king's throne, and all generations have honored Mary as the Holy Queen, Mother of God. Jesus honored her, too . . . and so should we.
She Crushes the Head of Satan
Our mama wears army boots! That's right. Mary isn't just any woman. She was 'the woman.' Mary was chosen from the beginning of time to play a role in salvation history as the 'New Eve' (CCC 411). Remember the story in the Garden of Eden? Just as Eve's disobedience led to the fall of Adam, bringing death to humanity, it's Mary's obedience, her 'yes' to God led to the 'New Adam,' Jesus who brings life for humanity. Satan no longer has power; she crushes his head (Genesis 3:15).
Whatever sin or temptation you face in your life, you can turn to your mama and she will be a fierce butt-kicking power for you. When I am under my greatest spiritual trials, I reach for my rosary like my 'spiritual nunchucks.' And Mary, a powerful warrior of love, comes charging in to show Satan who's boss!
Fastest Way to Jesus and Our Greatest Intercessor
Mary knows what Jesus likes to eat for breakfast; she spent 30 years with Him – sharing cereal bars and pop-tarts. (Okay, Mary probably cooked.) But think of how much time Our Lady must have spent with her Son . . . the deep conversations they had and probably some great inside jokes too. Mary's heart beat in union with Jesus in her womb, and she journeyed side by side with Him to His tomb. Who better to teach us about Jesus than the one who knows Him best?
Mary is our greatest advocate. At the Wedding Feast of Cana, she was the one who asked Jesus to work His first miracle (John 2:5). And if we come to her in need, (even if it's the slightest annoying issue with your brother, a test, or our deepest, unspoken fears) she will ask Jesus for you. And trust me, what son doesn't listen to his mama?
Model for Holiness
Kate Moss. Cindy Crawfod. Heidi Klum . . . These supermodels have nothing compared to Mary. She is our perfect model. Her life teaches us how we're all called to obedience and faith even through suffering.
As a teenage girl, Mary was faced with fear about the road ahead. We all have our own fears too – college, friends, and relationships. But the beauty of Mary is that she surrendered to whatever God asked. She said 'Let it be done to me according to your words' (Luke 1:38). Mary journeyed with faith to the cross. I can’t imagine how much a mother would suffer if she had to watch her son be tortured to death. But Mary stood at the cross. That's what we're called to do too – to stand in faith through our daily trials, knowing Christ's love will triumph.
She is our Mother
At the foot of the cross Jesus gave Mary to the world as our mother (John 19:26). Maybe your mom is bossy, wonderful, controlling, or just really busy. Regardless of our earthly moms, we can know that we have a beautiful heavenly mother who's always there for us … Mary. Like any good mother, Mary wants a relationship with you. She wants to wipe away our tears and teach us her Son's ways. Even when we mess up, she will bandage our wounds and point us back to Jesus.
If you're like me and never got the whole 'Mary' thing, I encourage you to ask her to reveal herself to you. Mary isn’t even close to being boring, distant, or dull. She is real, powerful, and a fire-ball of love for her son and for you. Since I began to have a personal relationship with Mary, my life has radically changed. She has taught me, protected me, and led me to great intimacy with her son. I now talk to Mary daily and she is an active part of my life. Her power is real!
Open your heart to the Mother of all mothers, and let her rock your world as much as she has rocked mine!
Read more from Mary at MaryBielski.com