And she smiles with me

I have a new mother.

I’ve been amazed how quickly she has become real and dear to me. Six months ago, she was a collection of doctrines. Six months before that, a stumbling block.

Now, I know her.

I am almost protective her. She is gentle and kind and good. She sits with me and holds my hand as I pray. She wants me to know her Son more and to love Him more.

Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato, The Virgin in Prayer, c. 1650 (National Gallery, London)

Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato, The Virgin in Prayer, c. 1650 (National Gallery, London)

I was afraid that somehow, if I made space for her, I would have less for Jesus; that he was recede into the background, become more distant and fearsome. I remembered theorising why Catholic loved her. It was because they were afraid of Jesus so they needed someone to hear their prayers and take their sorrows to heart.

She was the ersatz-Jesus.

Now I smile and shake my head at such thoughts. And she smiles with me.

If I could explain it, I would. I would shout it from the rooftops and try to ram it down your throat. I would probably cry when you told me that I couldn’t love her and still love Jesus. I would demand you hear me out and get angry when you still couldn’t see.

So instead, I “treasure up all these things in [my] heart.” (Luke 2:51)

I take my baby steps, just beginning to believe that my Jesus would give me His mother too.

I whisper that I am getting to know her and did He know that she is wonderful? And kind and splendid and good?

He laughs. Yes, He knows.

He made her too and loves her more than I do.

She smiles.

And I smile with her. 


18 responses to “And she smiles with me

  1. Oh yes, how very, very true all of this is. I find the Rosary just the centre of my prayer life, and don’t know how I managed without Our Blessed Mother. You are so right – and thank you for loving her so much.

    • Thanks Jess! I don’t know if I love her very much – I’m still working on that but it’s definitely growing!

      It’s easy to see your love for Our Mother shining through! And that inspires me to keep going and let myself be more and more open to her presence. So thank you. 🙂

      • Thank you Laura – that is so kind of you. :). Persevere and she will lead you even closer to her Son. I have found that. She will lead if we will just follow – and I pray for your perseverence on the great journey.

  2. I’m reading Mary: Mirror of the Church by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa (Liturgical Press). He quotes St. Augustine as saying “before conceiving Christ in her body, she conceived Him in her heart.” The Holy Spirit fills a heart with love and this love moves the person to do the Will of God. He doesn’t force his Will but give us love to choose His Will.

  3. I’ve got the venerable archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s wonderful book “The World’s First Love: Mary Mother of God” on my wishlist. He’s one of the major writers who has drawn me to Catholicism.

    It’s still a little strange to me coming from Protestantism (even though I’ve been studying Catholicism/Orthodoxy for 7-ish years), so I suppose I still need to move from the collection of doctrines to how dear she has become to you. But I’m slowly on the way and hopefully our blessed Theotokos will help me with her prayers.

    • Thank you for commenting! 🙂

      Oh, I completely understand! I’m genuinely surprised how quickly it has all happened. I think it helps that I’m fairly emotional person but really, it’s only by God’s grace that He has opened my eyes – and more importantly my heart to her.

      But I still have plenty of issues. Don’t get me started on devotion to the immaculate heart. So confusing…

      That sounds like a really interesting book! Do you know why she is called, “the World’s First Love”? It’s an intriguing title!

      And I have no doubt our Mother will be helping us both – mightily and loving – with her prayers. 🙂 Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us!

      • Oh boy, it’s been about six years since I last looked into the book (hence why it’s on my wishlist to purchase and re-read.) I think Sheen was making a point about her motherhood and how Mary embodies the love that the world is searching for.
        Really, I just remember enjoying Sheen’s perspective. He’s a very engaging writer and it got me looking at the Blessed Virgin in a completely different way than my Protestant upbringing had.

  4. our mother is beautiful. Whenever I think of Mary i remember my grandmother who had the most wonderful devotion to Our Lady.

  5. Nice post, thanks for sharing.

    I can truly relate to this. During my “conversion”, Our Lady was the biggest stumbling block I faced. But as soon as I took her hand as my mother, I immediately began to be drawn closer to Christ than I ever was in my many years spent as an non-Catholic Christian. At a time when I nearly gave up on becoming Catholic, I realized that I could never let go of her regardless of my decision. Thank God I made it through, because I would have been a big, Mary-lovin’ outcast had I remained a Protestant.

    • Thanks for stopping by!

      And thanks for sharing your story too! I think many of us once-Protestant, now-Catholics can relate. Loving her seems so strange and wrong and weird but once you start, you can’t stop!

  6. Hi Laura, it might be best if you could perhaps send me an email about this, but how did you come to the conclusion that “she is gentle and kind and good?” Please tell me more

  7. This is so beautiful. I have been a Catholic all my life and I am just discovering Mary and the Rosary and how she always points to her Son.. Indeed she is gentle, kind, and good like a mother.

  8. Pingback: Meeting Mary at Knock (My Conversion to the Catholic Church, pt VII) | CATHOLIC CRAVINGS·

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