Just spent the weekend with my mother in my hometown. She has taught me so much about love and service and my faith. For example, when I struggled down some stormy roads earlier in my life, her unconditional love and maternal tenderness was a beacon for me in my dark time. From big things, like her steadfastness during my turbulent years, to little things, like the lemon cake she surprised me with today, I know first-hand there is nothing like a mother’s love.
Just spent the last 33 days with my Heavenly Mother. She has taught me so much about love and service and my faith. For example, when I struggled down some stormy roads earlier in my life, her unconditional love and maternal tenderness was a beacon for me in my dark time. From big things, like her steadfastness during my turbulent years, to little things, like the radiant blue ribbons in the photo above that she surprised me with today, I am learning first-hand there is nothing like my Heavenly Mother’s love.
January 1 not only marks the start of a New Year, but it’s also a special Marian feast day; The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. I was blessed to spend this holy day with both my earthly mother and my Heavenly Mother.
For the past 33 days, my earthly mother and I have been participating in a “do-it-yourself retreat” called 33 Days to Morning Glory. It is a book by Father Michael Gaitley that helps prepare you for a personal consecration to Jesus through Mary. It is based on the classic work of St Louis de Montfort and basically, as Pope Pius XII says, this consecration is “essentially to union with Jesus, under the guidance of Mary.”
Today after we went to Mass in my hometown church, my earthly mother and I stood before the beautiful statue of our Heavenly Mother (pictured above) to recite our consecration. As I looked at her, I kept saying to myself, She’s so beautiful! She’s so beautiful! But as I admired the sculptor’s stunning work, I felt slightly disappointed. I wished that the artist had used blue instead of the dark greyish-green color for her cloak. Oh well, I thought. She is still beautiful!
When my earthly mother and I said our consecration, it seemed that Mary was smiling down upon us. And after we were done, I just had to take a picture of the gorgeous image of our Heavenly Mother as a remembrance of our special day. After taking the picture, I noticed something on the photo. There were blue ribbons on Mary’s cloak! The radiant blue “ribbons” that appear on the photo image above were not part of the statue. We did not see them as we stood before the physical statue either before or after the picture was taken! I know most would say it’s probably a reflection from something, but I accept it as a sweet and simple gift from my Heavenly Mother. She knew I had hoped to see her in blue, and then blue there was!
It deserves repeating: There is nothing like a mother’s love!
There is a Catholic practice of offering a prayer at the start of each new day, called the “Morning Offering” that consecrates oneself to Jesus. My earthly mother has it taped to her bathroom mirror and prays it each day. And as I start this New Year, I can feel the love of my Heavenly Mother as she tenderly calls me to also start praying it every morning, just like my earthly mother. The prayer is listed below, if you would like to join me in this New Year resolution.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day
for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month.
Remember, there is nothing like our Heavenly Mother’s love to bring us closer to Jesus. May you and your loved ones have a productive New Year growing closer to our Lord!