Mary Is Our Mother, and She Gathers Her Children With Her Rosary
Our Lady can unite people with words of praise and peace when there are no other words to say.
Six months ago, I joined an initiative at my parish to become prayer partners with members of a low-income parish in Baltimore.
Like the rest of my fellow parishioners, I had no idea where this new idea would take me, but little did I know that it would not only bring me closer to a member of St. Veronica’s in Baltimore, but also to the Blessed Mother.
What is it like to make a telephone call for the first time to someone you don’t know and who, aside from your shared Catholic faith, comes from an entirely different background from yourself?
It’s getting to know a brother or sister in God’s family no matter the differing living conditions. Several months after praying with our individual prayer partners, my fellow participating parishioners and I went up to St. Veronica’s to celebrate Mass together and share our experiences in praying with members of St. Veronica’s. The testimonies were amazing in expressing their love for one another as each pair shared how much they looked forward to the weekly telephone call from their partner to discuss everything, including their views on the causes of racism.
But little did I expect my prayer partner sitting next to me to stand up and give her testimony on what a positive experience in personal transformation it was just to have someone to pray the Rosary with each week.
Standing next to me in a pew inside St. Veronica’s, she explained to everyone else present that we had agreed just to pray the Rosary together each week since she was “not a talker.” She described our weekly Rosary together as so calming — particularly at a time when she was caring for her elderly mother — that she missed praying the Rosary when she was on vacation for a couple weeks.
“Where was my rosary?” she told the rest of us.
My prayer partner also looked at me and said, “And like me, I can tell that you’re a peaceful soul, Maryella, and I know we were well matched.” I was stunned. I knew little about this person but that we shared the same faith and prayed to the Lord’s mother together each week. Thank you, Mother of God, for bringing us together!
Mary can bring people together in this manner when there are no words to say. Mary, Christ’s mother, can also be a prayer partner in the absence of another human being.
After my own mother passed away, praying the Rosary became so much more important to me in that it was dialogue with a mother. Mary can do this if we let her.
Even before my mother passed on, I found it relaxing to pray the Rosary on the car drive home from work. As I prayed the words and thought about the mysteries, still my mind was indirectly talking to my Mother Mary, telling her about the ups and downs experienced throughout the day. As my car entered the driveway of my community and I would be praying the fourth decade, I felt like someone who loved me very much had listened to all of my joys and complaints and calmed them.
Mary can do this. She gives our problems to Christ.
At a time when our beloved country is so divided, could not praying the Rosary together be a means for dialogue when words are too hard to express politely?
As I drove home with others in my parish from the event at St. Veronica’s, I shared more with them the power of “just letting Mary do the talking” between two people, my prayer partner and me. As we prayed the Rosary together week after week, it was as if an intercessor was doing the talking between us and helping us to very slowly get to know each other.
Moreover, some of the most boring moments can also be a time for getting to know Mary the Mother of God one-on-one. Years ago, I recall waiting in line for hours to get my driver’s license renewed and was inspired simply to pray the Rosary again and again. It is so uplifting to feel so close to this woman, who just wants to love us and be our mother. By the time my number was called for my license to be renewed, I honestly felt blessed to have had the opportunity to be in dialogue with my Mother Mary over the course of several hours. I was overjoyed in a situation that could have been incredibly stressful without the Rosary.
Prayer can bring healing in many ways, but sometimes our Mother in Heaven reaches down in the utmost sympathy to those suffering. Almost 20 years ago, I recall losing part of my eyesight to a retina event involving my heart condition. I had some holy water from Lourdes handed out at the local friary and started putting it on my forehead throughout the week. But it was while waiting to see a doctor, that I decided simply to accept the situation and pray the Rosary. Somewhere in the middle of the Rosary, my eye regained most of its sight. Mary’s prayers can do this.
Yes, a person can pray directly to Christ, and I do, too, throughout the day. But we all want a prayer partner at times and there is not always someone present to ask for prayers. Mary is that person to pray with, but even more so, she is a mother to pray with — a mother given to all of us by Christ from the Cross.
Why not take advantage of this gift from God, who realizes the need of our humanity especially for a mom to talk to? Mary is that family member who makes us feel so very loved when others cannot be there.
Through the Rosary, I believe that Mary the Mother of God wants to encourage all people, and particularly women, to realize their value and worth. Sitting in a dental office recently, listening to music from the ’70s that was denigrating women, I knew that by contrast the words of the Rosary praise the highest not only of our race, but of all women.
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art though amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
These words encourage us to be more than we are because we have a mother — a mother who lovingly gives her life to Christ. These words assure us that she is and will always be with us. I want to continue praying the words of the Hail Mary again and again each Friday morning via telephone with my fellow Catholic in Baltimore and grow closer to my friend and to the Blessed Mother.