I was maybe sixteen when it happened. I was laying in the dark on my bed and staring up into the unknown, looking and listening desperately for answers. I don’t know what trail of thought I followed that led me to the question but I’ll assume that the Holy Spirit had a hand in leading me there. My heart pounded in my chest and tears welled up in my eyes as I breathed my prayer out into the darkness.
“Mary?” I asked somewhat uncertainly. “Mary?…well Mary if you are there and you can hear me,” I continued with a bit more confidence, “Well Mary I think I’d like to get to know you a little better. ..” I paused before getting to the main point. “Could you…would you…help me? Help me to know you better?” There, I’d said it.
I’m not sure if I expected to see a vision or hear an audible response but when I finally fell asleep with neither I slept with a deep sense of peace nonetheless. Somehow, just by putting that out there I knew everything was going to be ok. As I drifted off to sleep that night, I felt almost like a little girl again cuddled up close in my mother’s arms.
My mother, the one whom God chose to carry me in her womb, birth me, and love me; showed me, and still does, that deep love for the Lord comes through His most beautiful Mother, Mary. When I close my eyes and see the fuzzy flashes of childhood memories of my mom, it seems I always see Mary there with her. Whether it was at her Rosary group or in the car listening to the Catholic EWTN radio or Rosary on tape, my mom always found time to pray and invoke the intercession of our heavenly and earthly queen. I’m sure there were times were I turned up my nose a little and thought all that praying was a little over the top. Now, I understand because I am a mom too. I’ve always had a place in my heart for Mary but now especially as a mom, she is there fighting for me and praying for me in the trenches of my own motherhood.
So when I sent out that request into the stillness of that late night, it was a question that had been forming in me for a while. Because of the example of my own mom’s devotion, I already had the desire to know Mary. Now I just was ready to take it to the next level.
Like with any man, I knew that if I really wanted to know, love, and serve Jesus, I needed to know His Mother. And I needed to love her as He does.
Soon after I invited Mary into my life, I was introduced to St. Louis de Montfort and his 33-day Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. Each day I felt my love for her Son expand and stretch as I was pulled deeper and deeper into the heart of Mary.
Then, a couple years later, I found myself in the middle of a golden wheat field. Dusk was settling over the land and strokes of soft pinks and purples danced in the pale blue sky. The wind was unusually calm but a soft breeze tickled my skin and flirted with my hair. I took pictures in my mind as I drank in the perfect scene all around me. As if that weren’t enough, I got to share this moment with two friends who’s value no words could ever describe. And there, in that wheat field under the setting sun, we joined our souls together as we consecrated our hearts to Jesus through Mary with the prayer we found on the back of a blue brochure about St. Maximilian Kolbe and his Militia of the Immaculta.
Little did we know what impact that simple moment shared together would do for each of us. The next few years were filled with many adventures and new experiences as we each went our separate ways after high school for a little while in the world, all the while connected by our consecration and membership in the Militia. My now husband joined us shortly after that perfect day amongst the wheat, and then two other friends and another and another until we had a nice little group of “knights” of Mary. We met together and prayed the rosary, read and talked about scripture, and ate a lot of food.
Now, many of us are married and have our own fruitful harvests to care for and offer up. Our group has grown more than we ever could have imagined and it’s been fun and interesting as we’ve developed and learned how to adapt our prayer and discussion time with young, noisy, precious, normal, little children running around. Through Mary, we come together and receive the shower of graces she sends to us from her Son. Our families have been strengthened, new friendships have sprouted while old friendships have been sharpened.
There’s still a lot to know and learn about my Mother. Each season of my life brings me more treasures and nuggets of revelation about this woman blessed amongst all others. As a mother of three young children, I most often reflect upon her life with the child Jesus. When I hold my baby and gobble him up with kisses and raspberries, I think about those joyful moments shared between Jesus and his mommy. When I watch my three-year old boy build a tower or fly an airplane around with such concentrated attention, I think about the wonder and discovery Mary must have seen glowing in the eyes of her Son. When I watch my daughter as she reads and listen as she sings a new song, I think of Mary telling Jesus stories of adventure or singing him songs of praise and lullabies.
Oh Mary, most beautiful woman and mother, thank you. Thank you for hearing my prayer on that dark lonely night. Thank you for saying Yes and becoming the Mother of God. Thank you Mary, most of all, for saying yes- to us.
Copyright 2010 Erika Marie