H/T to NED
My Mother's Heavenly Role Model
When I was a child, May was Mary’s month. My mother demanded that we children convene after dinner and say the rosary every night. We complained, cut corners, giggled, and misbehaved. But for the most part, we did it.
How could I have known that 40 years later, I would be saying the same Rosary with my mother as she lays in bed at 86, struggling for health. Some days, speech is difficult for her and walking impossible. Some days, it’s all she can do to raise her head.
But even on those days, the words of the rosary come easily.
“Do you want to lead Mom?”
“Yes. Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee…”
In the traditional language of religion, Mary is her “devotion.” And for her, Mary became not just an object of veneration but also a guide for how to raise children, how to work, and how to live a life of meaning. Mary is my mother’s role model.
I can understand how many of today’s mothers shy away from such devotions. Many mothers today feel that they should not force religion on their children. Many feel that traditional devotions like my mother’s are out of date and represent the most arcane of spiritual practices. Many emphasize emotions like empathy and compassion instead of devotions like attending church and following rules like the Ten Commandments or the moral codes of religions.
But I can hardly begin to capture how much meaning and purpose my mother’s devotion to Mary has given me. The rosary was my first exposure to the power of repetitive prayer and led me to study the meditative practices of all religions where mantra and repetition form a pathway to silence and peace. Those beads in my fingers still create an almost biological reaction: “calm down” they seem to call out no matter the moment. Move to your center. Be still.
(read the complete article here)
Image: Our Lady of the Rosary by Maggie Mayer