Embracing Mary's Healing Power In Our Lives
Experience Mary's Healing Embrace
Understanding the role of Mary in God's plan of salvation and in our life, helps us to experience her healing power. The healing is more than the ordinary healing that we know which is a cure from bodily sickness or pain. Mary goes beyond this natural phenomenon and speaks about interior healing which only God can do with the power of His grace and love. In a particular way, we will speak about healing through Mary's embrace, by reflecting on our own experiences, struggles, questions, and journey through the years, experiencing purification, gradual enlightenment in searching for a meaningful and intimate relationship with our Blessed Mother Mary. The purpose of this healing is meant not only to know Mary's essential role in our salvation but also to bring us closer to her Son Jesus Christ. In experiencing Mary's embrace, we get healed in many different ways. She is full of grace, full of God's life and love, the first fruit of Christ's redemption by which man is fully redeemed mirroring God's holiness. We see what is truly beautiful and as someone has said, "what she is, we ought to become; where she is, we hope to follow."
In recent years, many people have set aside the very important role of our Blessed Mother, especially because of the idea that they can approach Jesus directly. Indeed, if we love Jesus, we cannot help but love His mother as well. The Blessed Virgin Mary would be the first one to refuse to be placed on the same level as her Son because she is not to be worshiped. But cherishing her for what she truly is, we see that a real devotion to her will certainly lead us more intimately to Christ. The Blessed Mother is here waiting for us with open arms. She waits for us to approach her. She desires to lead us to her Son, Jesus. She beckons us to experience His healing love more intimately. Are we willing to accept her invitation?
Who is Mary
On one end of the spiritual scale, we have people who practically worship the Blessed Virgin Mary. They refer to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary as twins. They pray to her and forget to pray to Jesus. On the other end of the scale, we have individuals who would rather not talk about her at all. They can emulate other scriptural role models or saints and shove her aside. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) N. 487 states: "what the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ." As alluded to in the Scriptures at the same time: "called in the Gospels 'the mother of Jesus,' as acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as 'the mother of my Lord.''' Mary is not God, and therefore, should not be worshiped as such. To dismiss her significant and even essential role in Jesus' birth into the world and in our own salvation would be erroneous as well. The Blessed Virgin Mary has been given to us as a gift. She may play a variety of roles, but she will always be a mother, and The Mother, expressing her love for us in the particular way we need it, in order to lead us to the real and lasting Source of joy, her Son, Jesus.
One of the most moving depictions of Mother and Son is the Pieta, the image of the body of Christ in the arms of the Blessed Mother-- rejected, weary, lonely, scorned, mocked, betrayed. She waits to resuscitate us with her healing embrace. She opens wide the gates of our hearts so that we may receive the healing graces that her Son yearns to give us. Yes, let us now go to our dear Mama Mary.
The Blessed Virgin Mary, being the Mother of God, is accorded a unique place above all the saints. She is also the Mother of the Church. "After her Son's Ascension, Mary 'aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers.' 'We also see Mary by her prayers with the apostles and several women imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation.'" (CCC 965). The wedding feast at Cana shows the compassion of both Jesus and Mary. Even though Jesus felt it was not yet time for His first miracle, He addressed the newlyweds' need, clearly indicated by His mother. Jesus loved His Mother and the people He was celebrating with. Both Mother and son showed concern and selflessness.
Praying for others is in itself an act of generosity and as the supplication reaches God, who in essence is generous, all the more His generosity flows to us as He sees us, His children humbly asking for His help and opening ourselves up to this goodness. Intercession is not just about power, it is more about love. One could say, it is about the power of love, and most importantly, Divine Love.
The rosary is a beautiful prayer which helps us meditate on the love of God for us. It is also a powerful intercessory prayer. Most significantly we pray the rosary for our salvation and that of all mankind. Another form of intercession by Mary is her role with respect to the souls in Purgatory. Mary frequently visits these souls to console them and to give them courage.
Intercession and mediation are often times used interchangeably from a laypersons perspective. There are however marked differences between the two, particularly in the manner these are used in the Church. The Catholic Encyclopedia cites that in general that intercession in general, is one praying or acting in behalf of another, usually at the request of the one to be benefited. The term is used in the Church in regard to the commendation of oneself to the Saints... The role of a mediator is acting on behalf of the benefit of others in human society. Since Mary bore Jesus in her womb, gave birth to Him, journeyed with Him as His mother, was given the title, "Mediatrix," as she bridges the gap between Jesus and humanity. The Catholic Encyclopedia cites, "the Blessed Virgin Mary, as mediatrix of all graces depends completely on the merits of her son, Jesus, as the Universal Mediator. The teaching of the Church is that all the same graces that are necessary for man and merited for all mankind by her Son through His redemption, are merited by Mary, too, but de congruo, that is, founded on charity (love) and friendship with God. Mary pleads now in heaven for the application of graces and distributes them to us. The Church, by decree of January 21, 1921, approved a proper Mass and Office of Mary, Mediatrix of all Graces. The Catholic Encyclopedia points out the following about grace:
1. A gratuitous gift infused by God into the rational creature with reference to the end: eternal life
2. Grace refers to something freely bestowed, which is not due
3. Grace also means the very gift itself
4. Grace means gratitude for the thing received
5. "All the sons of the Church should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits
but to the special grace of Christ" (LG 14).
In True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, St. Louis de Montfort writes, "God the Holy Spirit entrusted His wondrous gifts to Mary, His faithful spouse, and chose her as the dispenser of all He possesses, so that she distributes all His gifts and graces to whom she wills, as much as she wills, how she wills, and when she wills. No heavenly gift is given to men which does not pass through her virginal hands. Such indeed is the will of God, who has decreed that we should have all things through Mary, so that, making herself for the poor and lowly, and hiding herself in the depths of nothingness during her whole life, she might thus be enriched, exalted, and honored by Almighty God. In the wedding feast of Cana, we see Jesus providing for the need that Mary presented to Him-- a need that was not from Mary's personal benefit, but for that of the couple. Because Jesus was compassionate and understood that His mother would never present anything that would be against His and the Father's will, He acceded to her request. The bond of love of Mother and Son for each other and for others was so strong that, in essence, what both of them wanted was borne out of concern for others. Jesus is the miracle worker who turned the water into wine. Mary played an important part in keeping the feast joyful. She presented the need for more wine to Jesus, the Son. Even now, Mary presents our needs ever so lovingly before her Son, who already knows them. But in her desire to bring us in union with Jesus, she also does her part, through her motherly concern for us, to help us surrender our lives completely to Jesus.
Mary Draws Us into Contemplation
Contemplation, in very simple terms, is basically union with God. Everyone is called to contemplation if we consider this perspective. Contemplation is not something that we do at a particular time of the day. Rather contemplation is here and now the day in which we find ourselves. Contemplation has to do with the everyday. It is not a question of withdrawing from the world but rather a way of being in the world. One can't retreat from the world and still not attain contemplative presence. One can be headed in the wrong direction even in the desert. One can be hurrying to accomplish something even in a monastery. There can be a rush toward enlightenment. Contemplation does not have so much to do with "doing" as it does with "letting it be done unto me" (Luke 1: 38). It means attentiveness to a different sense of time and timing.
Not everyone is called to contemplative prayer as practiced by the monks and cloistered nuns. For us contemplative prayer is a mode of prayer that is characterized by a lot of silence and moments of solitude. Not everyone is prepared to practice contemplative prayer as a way of praying, even though we are all called to union with God. Some are more inclined toward other methods of prayer, like verbal prayer, visualization, journaling, or using music.
Contemplation nourishes us from within. The outside is very volatile. To be truly strong, we need to ground ourselves in prayer inside our hearts. There is no shortcut. As St. Augustine states: "our hearts are restless until they rest in You, Lord." Relating with God cannot be substituted with ministry and tasks. Doing can indeed only be truly fruitful where there is the "being in him." Sometimes, we need moments when we simply have to be in His presence without having a to-do list to complete. The interior landscape is in itself a challenging adventure, and beckons us to sit on the Heart of Jesus within our hearts. That is why a person who is not as famous as another individual may find more happiness because he or she bases his or her joy on God, and not on outside things or even on ministry which is a good thing. Contemplation gives us sacred space, i.e., solitude and quiet moments of stepping back from the busyness of life, focusing on the inner journey rather than on the many physical attractions on the outside world.
Mary shows us the importance of meditating on the Word, and the Word is Jesus. How is Jesus present in our lives? We are not always ready to hear and see Jesus, instead, we answer our own queries, instead of allowing Jesus to give us His divine picture of things. We are impatient, often wanting to be in control. We are afraid. Contemplation is an antidote to fear.
Contemplation teaches us to wait in prayer, and hear God's answer. It has been said that God always answers our prayers. He may do so in three major ways: go, grow, and no. He may say that we can proceed with what we are doing because it is His will for us, or He might indicate that He is still in the process of teaching us values and virtues. He may also show us that what we are asking for is not good for us, either because it is evil, or because He
has something better for us. Contemplation steadies our gaze on God. Our relationship with Him is not and should not be based merely on emotions. God is always present and at times He will allow us to feel that He is not around so that this will strengthen our commitment to Him.
Two ways we can practice contemplative prayer are:
1. Say a love word both during actual times of prayer and when one is doing seemingly mundane things.
What we are is love, we bring this love for that person wherever we go.
2. Make regular visits to the Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharistic presence of Jesus brings about healing in a special
way. Resting in the embrace of the one we love. Sometimes there are no words to say; it is just being with Him,
being with the Healer that brings the healing.
Other benefits derived contemplation are as follows:
1. Contemplation helps us slow down and rearrange our priorities.
2. Contemplation envelops us with an armor of strength.
3. Contemplation helps us make sense out of our past, linking it to our present and our future, not so that we can
get stuck in the past, but so that we can learn from it, live with its meaning it our lives at the present time, then
move forward to a bright future. Jeremiah 29:11 – 13, "for I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the
Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future of hope. When you call Me, when you go to
pray to Me, I will listen to you. When you look for Me, you will find Me. Yes, when you seek Me with all your
Mary Teaches Us to Obey and to be Faithful to God's will
Mary said, "may it be done to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). It is not always easy to accept God's will, especially when we do not understand it, at least initially. It must have been difficult for Mary to fathom why she was being chosen to be the mother of the Most High, and how she could live it out -- firstly, considering she "did not have relations with any man" and secondly, not knowing exactly what the whole package would be. Yet, she did her Fiat.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (494) points out, as St. Irenaeus says, "being obedient, she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race." Hence as some of the early Fathers gladly assert... "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith." (Editors Note: See Novena of Mary Untier of Knots).
Are we attuned to God's word as Mary was? Do we listen according to the world's standards, or according to God's criteria? Are we trying to please the world or other people instead of striving to please God? How do we know we are listening to God's Voice and not just to human voices: when we examine our self worth, when we discern God's plan for us, when we overcome our fears?
Faithfulness can bring about fruitfulness. We may not always meet the world's standards, but we are able to share fruits of goodness, fruits of the Holy Spirit with others, more lasting things that are not always quantifiable or measurable in terms of the number of objects or products. The fruits of obedience to the Lord inspires many people to grow closer to God. Mother Teresa's faithfulness to the Lord is evident in how she has touched the lives of people, not only the poor and the sick whom she directly served, but countless others who did not even get to meet her. Mary's obedience to God became a gateway for our Savior to be born.
Mary Invites Us to Discern
We need to discern if, in the first place, we are being led by the proper intentions, or if we are making decisions out of fear or hurt. We are invited to discern also what areas of our life need healing so that we can make choices guided by the Holy Spirit, and not by the evil spirit, or by our human spirit. Unhealed wounds and pains in us can be openings for evil spirits to latch onto. We can do things out of need, anger, jealousy, fatigue, desperation, repressed negative feelings which have reached their peak, or out of the external pressure, instead of operating from a stable sense of worth.
Mary is called the "Seat of Wisdom." The early Church applied the devotional title "Seat of Wisdom" (Sedes Sapientiae) to Mary, likening her to the throne of Solomon who was famed for wisdom. Her role as Mother of the Word Incarnate and the Wisdom of God makes her an icon of all endeavors to know and comprehend the wisdom of God. "She kept all these things, pondering them in her heart" (Luke 2: 19; Luke 2: 51).
Jesus had His own wisdom, but the influence of Joseph and Mary must have also created an atmosphere, humanly speaking, conducive to enhancing it even more. We are told in Luke 2: 51 – 52, that as a boy, Jesus did follow them: "He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
Wisdom is a special kind of knowledge that involves spiritual eyes, being able to address concerns in a Godly way. It has much to do with faith. It is grounded on the everyday things, but is geared toward the values of heaven. We should approach the Holy Spirit for enlightenment and pray that under His inspiration, we will do what is according to the Father's will, and that we can say that what He wants us to do, will lift from us all our confusion, and that He will protect us from evil. We asked for the help of the Holy Spirit through Mary for us to make the right choices, not only because the Father's will is best, but most essentially, what binds the Holy Trinity and Mary is pure love; so that ultimately, we would be acting out of true love, not out of deception or lies which come from the evil one.
Mary Protects Us from Evil and Fights for Our Salvation
The spiritual battle is going on daily in us and around us. That evil one's agenda is to take as many souls away from God as possible, and he will look for any loophole, including our psychological and biological conditions, and so we must be on guard, without being paranoid. Satan's attacks come in various forms -- fear, despair, indifference, division, pride, lust, and many more. Ephesians 6: 12 says, "for our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens." Many times, we are so focused on asking for physical or material blessings that we forget to ask for graces that can strengthen our souls, that can prevent us from being snatched by the Devil, that can keep us steadfast in our relationship with God, and that can take us back to the Holy Trinity if we have strayed.
Ephesians 6: 1317 goes on to stress, "therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your lions girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Mary defends us against evil. Genesis 3:15 gives reference to her: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel." "Of the most ancient times, the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of "the Mother of God," to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs" (CCC 971). With the examples of faith, humility, and all other virtues of holiness, she shows us the way to fight the Devil. Let us call on her! As Jesus wept according to the Gospels, His Mother has also wept for us, for our salvation and deliverance from evil. So the Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Savior, participates in the painful events of her children's lives. The person who loves also shares in our lives.
Mary Pleads for Mercy
"In these latter times, Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, power, and grace: in mercy, to bring back and welcome lovingly the poor sinners and wanderers who are to be converted and return to the Catholic Church; in power, to combat the enemies of God who will rise up menacingly to seduce and crush by promises and threats all those who oppose them; finally, she must shine forth in grace to inspire and support the valiant soldiers and loyal servants of Jesus Christ who are fighting for his cause" (True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin n. 50f by St. Louis de Montfort).
Essential to healing is forgiveness. The Blessed Mother is an embodiment of pardoning another. Her Beloved Son was condemned to death for a crime He did not commit. More excruciating, He was the Messiah the Jews were waiting for, and here they were, shunning the very God and Man fulfilling the Covenant and showering them with immense love. At the core of their being, Mary knew that Jesus had come for a mission. She was told that her own heart would be pierced. Yet, she continued to love.
In John 19:25, we read how Mary witnessed up close Jesus'ordeal on the cross: "standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdala." She must have united her heart with her Son's as He was saying: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). As the Mother the Church, this is probably her same request to the Father for us. So we asked for her mediation in order to forgive others and ourselves, and also to seek forgiveness from God, ourselves, and others so that the redemptive work of Jesus may be completed in us.
Mary Helps Us to Thank and Praise God
Mary is a good model for having an attitude of gratitude. While we cannot relate with her experiences because the conditions were different when she was still on earth, let us closely examine what happened in Luke 1:29, "but she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be," we wonder if it was that easy for her to completely surrender to God's will. Luke 1:34 says, "but Mary said to the angel, 'how can this be, since I have no relations with a man?'" What must have gone through her heart? Her unique situation was that she was preserved from original sin, as the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception defines. She was not exempted, though, from experiencing emotions.
Further consideration makes plain the courage and the confidence in God with which Mary uttered the Fiat, since she knew the prophecies concerning the suffering of the Messiah which, as His mother, would be hers as well. We must not forget, too, that she was well aware of the punishment reserved in the Jewish law for a women who conceived outside of marriage. Her self forgetfulness was complete. Gifted beyond all other human beings both in nature and in grace, Mary did not look to herself for her greatness, but only to God.
Mary's Magnificat mentions many graces. Among these are: salvation, affirmation, great deeds, mercy, might, provision, and victory. If she who is sinless could be so humbly grateful, we who are sinners ought to be more so.
Mary Teaches Us Healthy Self-Worth and Purity of Heart, Mind And Body
Things happen to us which make us doubt how loved we are. People leaving us without any explanation, or taking us for granted, violating our rights -- these cause our self worth to plummet. Such wounds, when left unhealed, can make us do things out of a deep need for approval, attention, and love, not necessarily because we want to give others the best of ourselves. In an ideal situation, we can only relate in a healthy way with others when we are whole.
Mary's heart was pure, and she was filled with so much love from and for God. In the Annunciation, the angel said to her: "hail, favored one! The Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). Mary reminds us to anchor our self worth on the love of God for us, and that this is the love that truly satisfies, the love that binds our wounds, and fills our needs. As this love is poured into our hearts, we overflow with it, and it is what we are able to share with others. Mary is radiant with pure love, and as such, with pure beauty, inside and out. Mary, in all aspects, is Royal Beauty. She gives what she has -- the love of God! When Mary wishes to express her identity, her 'personality' before God and humanity, she does it with these words: "I am the handmaid of the Lord" (Luke 1:38).
Let Mary be the safe guard of our purity of heart, mind, and body. Called the "Spouse of the Holy Spirit," she definitely is not God nor can be on the same footing as the Trinity, but as Pope Pius IX taught in Ineffabilis Deus when he wrote that Mary is "singularly holy and most pure in soul and body... the only one who has become the dwelling place of all the graces of the most Holy Spirit" (emphasis added). By a singular privilege of God, through the merits of her Son, Mary was prevented from falling into the muddy pit. Sin had no place in her life. How wonderful it would be if we could be as pure, as unblemished, as sinless as Mary is. With God's grace and Mary's help, we can choose to make it happen.
Mary Inspires Us to Practice Faith, Courage, and Surrender
The Blessed Mother's gentleness and faith in God should be a guiding light for those who feel abandoned and are fearful. Her inner serenity which is manifested exteriorly through sculpted images of her, do express a regal esteem grounded on the love of God for her. Even while Jesus was being persecuted, she remained that loving mother not only to Jesus, by even to those who were mocking her Son. She was not overcome by fear in becoming the Mother of Jesus; she instead surrendered her entire will to the Father. She believed what the angel had said: "do not be afraid, Mary..."
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 506), it is mentioned, "Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith 'unadulterated by any doubt,' and of her undivided gift of her self to God's will. It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Savior: 'Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ.'" Mary had no blocks is surrendering herself totally to God. She may have asked the question: "how can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" Yet, she let the will of God prevail. Take Mary as your model in life.
Mary Accompanies Us in Suffering Onto the Road of Healing
We may grow tired of changing ourselves, being healed of our issues, or being transformed in our path to sainthood. But Jesus and Mary do not give up on us. Proof of this are the sacraments, especially of the Holy Eucharist and of Reconciliation. Mary, through her mediation and intercession, will continue showing us the way to Jesus, because of her great maternal love from us.
Do we get depressed because of how slow or seemingly impossible situations are? Do you have the feeling of wanting to give up? Turn to Mary and allow her to walk, step-by-step, with you. She knows the feelings of distress, loss, and pain. When Jesus was twelve years old, she already had a taste of being a worried mother. She and Joseph did not know that Jesus had stayed behind in Jerusalem after the feast of Passover. "When His parents saw Him, they were astonished, and His mother said to Him, 'Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for You with great anxiety'" (Luke 2:48). She had also witnessed her Son being mocked and crucified. She was no stranger to agony. Mary reflected on her life experiences in order to find meaning in them. We also see her inner resiliency, how her faith sustained her, and how her deep love for her Son gave her strength to enter into and endure her sufferings. By meditating on Mary's response to the uncertainty and suffering which often surrounded her, we ourselves will grow in our own ability to find peace in the difficult moments of our lives.
Mary Cares for Her Priests and Calls Them to Spiritual Motherhood
Mary loves her priest-sons dearly. She beckons to many of us to practice spiritual motherhood, and to be her mirrors of maternal concern towards the priest, and to other souls needing the care of a mother, specifically in the psycho-spiritual sense. Priests are spiritual guides and shepherds, but as human beings, they also need to be cared for. They also need to pay attention to what is going on in their individual life.
They, too, have feelings, and it is much of a challenge to integrate their psychological makeup with their spirituality, just as with any one of us. They, too, need our understanding, without our losing respect for them and their holy vocation.
Mary is asking us to pray for priests. We are invited to share in the universal maternity of Mary in praying for priests. Behind every priest there should be a spiritual mother who has prayed for his vocation before God. Every woman should consider becoming a spiritual mother for a priest by offering up her sufferings in love. Needless to say, men are not excluded from helping to pray for priestly vocations and for the sanctification of priests. Our priests have offered their lives in the service of the Church, out of their desire to follow Jesus. May we, like Mary, help them in their sublime sacrifice, even as it entails are own giving of ourselves for the glory of God.
Mary Leads Us to the Heart of Jesus
At the wedding in Cana, Mary said to the servers, "do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5). Even though she was the parent, she knew her place. In Luke 1:35, the Angel Gabriel said to her, "the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." Mary was aware that the Child she bore was no ordinary person. He was not only sent to save the world in terms of His great power, His love was perfect, the love that would truly quench our hearts. John 3:16 – 17 says, "for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."
The biblical verses noted above tells us of how self-effacing and sacrificial this love is. Mary wants to see Jesus born and continuously reborn in us. Despite our sins and faults, Jesus and Mary keep on seeing the good in us. We may fail to look at the good in ourselves, or others may see more of what is wrong than what is right with us, but Jesus and Mary will persistently bring us back to our true selves, if we allow them to. They will always build on our potential, impress upon us that we all have a mission in life, and encourage us toward our heavenly destiny.
Mary does not want to be the center of attraction. But a real devotion to her would take us to Jesus, her Son. She knows that He is our Savior and Perfect Lover. She exhorts us, yes, to seek the healing, but even more essentially, to desire to be in union with the Healer. Blessed John Paul II wrote in Crossing the Threshold of Hope: " thanks to St. Louis of Montfort, I came to understand that true devotion to the Mother of God is actually Christocentric, indeed, it is very profoundly rooted in the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity, and the mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption."
Jesus Entrusts the Church to Mary
The Church has always taught that when Jesus gave Mary to be John's mother with the words "behold your mother," He was giving her to be the Mother of all disciples as represented by John. He gave Mary to be the Mother of all believers, the Mother of the Church. Jesus knew the importance of mothers. When He was about to die, He entrusted Mary and John to each other. John was to take care of Mary, and Mary was also to be a source of strength to John. This was likewise symbolic of the call of Jesus for us to build a sense of family and community within the Church, to nurture each other. And the foremost epitome of affectionate attention is a mother. Jesus gave Mary to be the Mother of the Church.
In Jesus and Mary, we find our personal hurts healed. No matter how different our stories may be, they are our points of convergence. In them we find a more profound sense of unity in diversity. As we follow the example of our Blessed Mother who pondered on the Word, we are gradually transformed by this Word, we become more and more like it, individually and collectively. Then, we truly experience the Church as a dynamic community, and not merely as a building we go to for our Sunday obligations or a social club where we meet new people and pursue altruistic endeavors. We become the People of God under the Motherhood of Mary.
The Strength to be Who We Truly Are, Through Mary
We all yearn to be loved. The bottom line of healing really is love. Yes, it is love that heals. Inner healing without love will not be deep enough to complete the process. The ultimate source of healing is God, who is and who radiates perfect and unconditional love. Our love for each other is still limited and often times, conditional. God can handle everything about us. No matter what we do or how we feel, His love for us will never change. Indeed He invites us to get to know Him more as this compassionate, all loving, and all-knowing God who takes us as we are, more than a punishing God many grew up with. If we create an atmosphere of love around us anchored on the love of God for us, people will all the more seek it, desire to stay with it, and obey its laws because our hearts get to immerse in the wisdom that this kind of love wills what is best for us.
In inner healing, we pray that the roots of our pains, the reasons why we turn away from God and why we do not experience the fullness of His healing love, be addressed, so that we will consciously desire to love Him above all and to submit to His will. Ultimately, His will and His laws make sense. How does Mary help us in our healing? She mediates for us so that we may receive the grace to have a strong sense of identity and worth as children of God. She helps us remember who we genuinely are. She helps us disentangle from the deception of the devil. She encourages us to forgive and ask for pardon. She has a strong sense of self, evident in "behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38).
Healing through Mary's embrace is about a mother's love for her children. It is said that the love of a parent is closest to the unconditional love of God. Mary yearns to shower her children with her pure maternal love. She longs to bring her children to the Trinity.