From the XIII Station of the Cross, by Fr Pfettisheim Chemin
“WOULD you pray over me?” she asked, as I was about to leave their home where she and her husband took care of me during my mission there in California several weeks ago. “Of course,” I said.
She sat down in a chair in the living room facing a wall of icons of Jesus, Mary and the saints. As I placed my hands on her shoulders and began to pray, I was struck by a clear image in my heart of Our Blessed Mother standing beside this woman to her left. She was wearing a crown, like the statue of Fatima; it was strapped with gold with white velvet in between. Our Lady’s hands were outstretched, and her sleeves were rolled up like she was going to work!
At that moment, the woman I was praying over began to weep. I continued to pray over this precious soul, a faithful worker in God’s vineyard, for a few more minutes. When I was done, she turned to me and said, “When you began to pray, I felt someone squeeze my left hand. I opened my eyes, thinking it was either you or my husband… but when I realized no one was there…” That’s when I told her who I saw beside her as I began to pray. We were both awestruck: the Blessed Mother had just held her hand…
SHE WILL HOLD YOUR HAND TOO
Yes, and this Mother will hold your hand too, for she is also your Mother. As the Church teaches:
Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers… The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.672, 677
She was the only disciple of Christ’s to remain with Him throughout His Passion. She held Him, if only by her gentle presence, by being present to Him. There, at the foot of the Cross, she heard for certain that, not only was she the “mother of my Lord“, cf. Luke 1:43 of Jesus our head, but also of His body whom we are:
Woman, behold, your son. Behold, your mother. (John 19:26-27)
Even Martin Luther understood as much:
Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of us even though it was Christ alone who reposed on her knees… If he is ours, we ought to be in his situation; there where he is, we ought also to be and all that he has ought to be ours, and his mother is also our mother. —Martin Luther, Sermon, Christmas, 1529.
If she supported her Son throughout His Passion, then so too she will support His mystical body throughout its passion. Like a tender Mother, but also a fierce leader, she will at once tenderly hold and firmly lead her children through the Great Storm that is here and coming. For this is her role, is it not?
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; they will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel. (Gen 3:15)
The Woman “clothed with the sun” cf. Rev 12:1 will help us as our Mother to fulfill the role which Christ Himself bestows upon us through His divine authority:
Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. (Luke 10:19)
As I have said before, it takes nothing away from Christ’s power and divinity to share His power and divine nature with His children. Rather, it shows forth His might when He bestows it upon mere creatures! It began with Mary, and ends with her offspring; with her, we all will share in Christ in the defeat—the crushing of Satan.
JESUS! JESUS! JESUS!
Lastly, let me say to those who struggle with Mary, especially my Protestant readers: this Woman is all about her Son. She is all about Jesus.When a mother nurses her baby here on earth, she does so not for her own glory and health, but for the nurturing and care of her infant. So it is with Our Blessed Mother: she nurses us, her children, through her powerful role as intercessor and mediatrix of grace cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 969 so that we grow to become strong and faithful servants of Jesus…
…until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming. Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ… (Eph 4:13-15)
One of the most powerful ways Our Mother helps us is through meditating on the life of her Son through the Rosary. Through this meditation, she opens to us the channels of her Spouse, the Holy Spirit, to teach, strengthen, and renew us in her Son:
In the current world, so dispersive, this prayer helps to put Christ at the centre, as the Virgin did, who meditated within all that was said about her Son, and also what he did and said. When reciting the Rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived. The various steps of Christ’s mission are traced. With Mary the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus. Christ is put at the centre of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory. May Mary help us to welcome within ourselves the grace emanating from these mysteries, so that through us we can “water” society, beginning with our daily relationships, and purifying them from so many negative forces, thus opening them to the newness of God. The Rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic way, not mechanical and superficial but profoundly, it brings, in fact, peace and reconciliation. It contains within itself the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the centre of each “Hail Mary”. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, May 3rd, 2008, Vatican City
It is this Woman who, in fact, will attain for the Church an outpouring of the Spirit that I believe will cause our fears and anxieties in this time to diminish, and to embue us with a renewed courage and strength, as was given Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. cf. Luke 22:43
…let us remain united with Mary, invoking for the Church a renewed effusion of the Holy Spirit. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, ibid.
So reach out this very day, and hold the extended hand of Our Blessed Mother, whose sleeves are rolled up. She is ready to go to work for you and your family that you may become the living presence of Jesus in the world. She is all about Jesus, and that is precisely what she wants you to become all about too. We are not alone. Heaven is with us. Jesus is with us… and He gives us a Mother to assure us that we will not be abandoned in this Last Hour... or the Hour of our own Passion.
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|1.||↑||cf. Luke 1:43|
|2.||↑||cf. Rev 12:1|
|3.||↑||cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 969|
|4.||↑||cf. Luke 22:43|