On this feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Mother, I wanted to take a minute to talk about one of the gifts given to us by our dear Mother, the rosary.
The rosary is by no means a new form of prayer for me. Growing up we often gathered as a family around our statue of Our Lady of Fatima, all of us kneeling on the ground with our rosaries in hand. The older kids took turns leading each decade while the little ones clamored to get a spot kneeling as close as possible to our mom (often leaving her surrounded) because there is just something so special about being as deep in the midst of a mother’s love as possible. Reflecting back now, I can see just how incredibly beautiful it was that as my siblings inched closer to my mom during this time of prayer, she was instilling in us the importance of pulling ever closer to our spiritual mother.
The rosary is a special and beautiful prayer that is unique to us as Catholics, and yet it is one of the elements of our faith that is most frequently under attack from outside of our community. Many non-Catholic Christians accuse us of worshiping Mary and giving her more devotion than Jesus himself. This is not the case. We honor Mary and pray to her to intercede for us to her Son. Jesus loved Mary, His mother, with the intense love that children have for their mothers. So who better to bring the needs and desires of our heart to Him than Mary herself? He did not refuse her when she implored His help at the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11), and He will not refuse her when she approaches Him on our behalf. Beyond her ability to intercede for us, Mary deserves a special place in our hearts. It was her YES to God that changed the course of humanity (Luke 1:38). She can teach us to be obedient to our Lord, and to give ourselves fully to Him.
While I grew up saying the rosary, it wasn’t until recently that I have come to truly love reciting it. As mothers, the Rosary is a particularly special way to grow closer to Mary, and consequently, to Jesus. In the rosary, we reflect on the life of Jesus through his mother’s eyes. As mothers, we know that we have a unique perspective on the lives of our children. We see them and love them differently than anyone else on earth, we conceived them, and grew them within ourselves, and that bond stays with us always. The rosary lets us reflect on the relationship our most holy mother had with her most holy Son. We can relate to her in some capacity, but more importantly, we can learn to love in a more profound way than we could have ever imagined by reflecting on her most perfect love of our Lord.There is no better role model for us a mothers, than the mother of our own Lord and Savior.
If you are not in the habit of praying the rosary, then I encourage you to start today. What better gift to give our Blessed Mother on her birthday than the gift of a relationship with her and with her Son? I promise that you will start to see a change in the way you live out your vocation as a mother when you begin to spend time meditating on the most beautiful story of motherhood ever told.
Happy Birthday, Mother Mary.