February 25, 2008

She Was His Mother …

By Rusty Montgomery *

“She was his mother. What she’d given Him was broken now, and scourged, and spiked upon a beam; and soon He’d be bereft of Bethlehem, and she would see her life fade out of Him, and all her gift moved to darkness and an end. He was her birth, but now no angels came, nor shepherds climbed to find Him at her hands. They’d gone away. But she’d not gone away. She still was His. To bear Him unto death.”
- Jon Lynch, W Woman Wrapped In Silence

So here is a little secret into my heart. One of my greatest fears is being lonely. I am not scared of things being too difficult or challenging. I am not sacred to struggle, fail, or even love. But for some reason, I am afraid of being alone. Not necessarily in the sense of I am afraid to spend time by myself, but in the sense of feeling abandoned by the world and those close to me. Every time I feel this way I am often reminded of Jesus on the cross. Perhaps there is no greater example of one man being abandoned by the world and those close to Him. It is quite true that many abandoned him, but there were a few that stayed loyal till the end. One in particular was Mary, His mother. The thought of her faithfulness to her Son brings tears to my eyes. Reflecting on the heart and presence of Mary during Lent is a must. So here we go…

Hurt, struggle, and pain are a part of life. And not a day goes by without our hearts experiencing some type of adversity. Today, we as young people, incredibly wounded, turn to so many things that give us a short term fix for a problem that will take so much more to solve. We look to Oprah, Dr. Phil, the columns in Us Magazine, talk shows on MTV and VH1 among so many other examples to simply try and feel better and have our wounds be healed. We turn to drugs, alcohol, and sex which seems to be the most popular medicine of choice for so many young people who ache and yearn for something more.  In the end we can always say that by their fruits we will know them and the fruit of our choice of medicine has gotten us no where. Just take a look around.

The saddest part about the current situation is the outcome is loneliness. Our hearts are wounded, we have not found the answer, and we feel abandoned.

I bring great news with great joy. My friends, we are not alone. This Lent we do not have to look any farther then the story of our Lord’s passion and death to know that the faithfulness of Mary our Blessed Mother is constant and forever. She is the one that knows what it is like to have a broken heart. She is the one that knows what it is like to lose someone. She is the one that knows what it is like to have something taken from you and feel like there is no one left.  Mary was the mother of Jesus, and she did not leave Him. She is also the Mother of all of us, and she will not leave us either.

I know what some of you are thinking. There is no way that Mary, who is now in Heaven, could ever help me with my struggles here on earth. My answer: Just look to the story…

At the foot of the cross Mary encouraged and comforted Jesus…

At the foot of the cross Mary gave Jesus strength…

At the foot of the cross Mary loved Jesus till the end…

To seal it all, among the final words of Jesus, he gave Mary to John and John to Mary in a filial relationship that was to proclaim to the world the motherhood of Mary. His last act on earth was to give us His Mother! The implications of this act are understanding that we will never be alone or abandoned if we allow Mary who longs to be our spiritual mother to gives the comfort, encouragement, strength, and love as her child.

My fear of being lonely is slowly falling away this Lent as I am coming to understand Mary’s role in my life. As we continue forward in Lent I invite you to take a prayer card with an image of Mary and put in your pocket. A few times throughout the day gaze upon the image of Mary, and pray “Mary, be my mother today and always.” This simple prayer can lead us to be true sons and daughters of Mary who will never leave and will always leads to true life in her Son Jesus Christ.

With great hope in Mary…

God Bless You,


Question of the week: Who is Mary to you? Is she a statue to you or a real person who longs to be your Mother?

Rusty is a seminarian at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Nebraska and is the co-founder of Live Greater Ministries. The ministry's aim is to invite the youth of the Church into a dialogue about the present culture and how Jesus invites us to a relationship with him, finding true happiness and greater purpose.  More information can be found on their website at www.livegreater.net.

* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.


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