Part of my Mary Moment Monday series of posts

I meant to post a tribute to my four moms yesterday, in honor of Mother’s Day. I didn’t, because my six-year-old and my husband conspired to surprise me in the most delightful series of ways, starting with breakfast in bed.

I’ve been blessed, in my life, to have had an opportunity to be mothered quite a bit. It started with the mom who gave birth to me, continued with the mom who married my dad, and then branched off when I met the guy I would later marry. His mom, you see, took a shine to me. (I’m not sure why, though she claims that “I looked like I needed a good mothering,” and as she’s just that sort of person, I guess she took it on as a challenge from God or something.)

The tribute I meant to write included my “fourth mom,” the one I turn to more than any of the others, the one who has held my hand through the most difficult nights of my life and who continues to be a rock in my faith life: Mama Mary.

In Mama Mary’s mantle, I’ve found a home that does not, in fact, keep me away from the elusive person I’ve always found Jesus to be. It is through her that I’ve come to see that Jesus must be a really great guy, so great that I want to know him better, to serve him more deeply, to commit myself to living as he would have me live.

She’s led me, through the rosary especially, to listen more closely to how God speaks to me and to seek to live in the moment more completely. In her example–from the humility of her ongoing “Yes” to her obedience in every aspect of her life–I find a mentor who does not stand at a distance and shout directions, but one who kneels down, puts her arm around my shoulders, and holds me close.

It might seem funny how a devotion to Mary has made me feel so much more comfortable with her Son. I know it’s a stumbling block for many in the anti-Mary camps. All I can say to those folks, though, is that Mary never ever leads you astray. There is no “making Mary more important than Jesus.” It can’t be done. Really. She always points to Him. Always.

Mama Mary has been, truly, the reason for my ongoing conversion and any advance I might have made in my faith life. Ten years ago, when I was baptized and confirmed Catholic, I was a different person.

When I feel myself slipping–and lately, that’s been often–I know that I can turn to her, grab hold of the lifeline of the rosary, or just sit before her. She doesn’t wag her finger or shake her head. She just holds me. The way I hold my sobbing daughter when her legs hurt from the growing pains. The way my husband holds my daughters when they’re heartbroken about some huge drama. The way, I think, we all long to be accepted and just…held.

That’s who Mama Mary continues to be for me. She’s so much more, but she’s also that. Just that.

And that is plenty. It’s just what I need her to be.

Incidentally, I’ve been doing a series on Wednesdays at the Catholic Writers Guild blog, and last week I blamed Mary for the fact that I write. Guess maybe I should have called it giving credit where credit is due… 🙂

credit for this FABULOUS picture of Mary to the University of Dayton