Every Parent Needs a Little Help From the Blessed Mother
This article originally appeared on Fathers for Good.
Although my son is only 3 months old, my wife, Mary, and I have already begun to introduce him to prayer. Every morning we place him before the Divine Mercy image that hangs on our living room wall. We then take his hand and trace the sign of the cross over him while saying, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Although my son has no idea what is going on, we know that as he grows, he will begin to understand what we are doing and, more importantly, who Jesus is. By engaging in this routine, we hope that our son will learn how to pray at an early age.
This process of praying with my son reminds me of my own need for parental instruction in the spiritual life. My wife and I hold our son’s hand when we trace the sign of the cross because he can’t perform this action on his own. In a similar way, I need the Virgin Mary, my Mother, to hold my hand as I walk with the Lord. With the Solemnity of the Assumption just celebrated Aug. 15, I’m reminded of Mary’s maternal care for me. She guides me through life’s challenges and leads me closer to Christ through her words and example.
“May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).
These words of total trust remind me of my need to conform my life to Christ. Mary humbly accepts the invitation to become the Mother of God. She is able to say yes to this incredible gift, because, as St. Augustine says, she conceived Jesus in her heart before she did in her womb. Mary was attentive to the voice of the Lord and allowed the Word to take root in her heart.
In the same way, we are called to bear Christ in our very person. When we receive the Eucharist, we are receiving the same Jesus who was born of the Virgin Mary. I often ask the Blessed Mother before I receive the Eucharist to help me say yes to Jesus like she did at the Annunciation. By asking for her intercession, she teaches me how to follow the Lord with an undivided heart.