Finding Healing Through Our Blessed Mother
Relationship with Mary is the clearest path to Christ. That truth is taught by great saints such as St. Louis de Montfort and Pope St. John Paul II. However, I was doubtful of that teaching for quite some time. That is until I experienced it firsthand. Our Blessed Mother is one of the most beautiful mysteries that the Church gives us. In fact, Mary is the most beautiful creature ever to exist. She is the dwelling of Christ, removed from the stain of original sin.
But beyond these wonderful theological truths, perhaps the most beautiful aspect of Mary is that she is also our Mother. We live in a time in which an orphan spirit plagues the hearts of so many. As families are divided and children are raised in single-parent homes, hearts are broken. For many, the broken spaces of these hearts are not being filled with lasting joy. Rather, relief is being sought in the numbing solaces of our confused world.
Coming from a dysfunctional family myself, I suffered from this plague of an orphan spirit for many years. While always having a faith in Christ, I did not understand Him in a personal sense. My relationship with Him reflected what I had known from the dynamics of my own family. What I was taught there formed how I received and gave love. The process of loving that I had come to know was deeply flawed. I craved the closeness and emotional security that I had not received from my own family unit and I looked for it in all the wrong places. I was spiritually and emotionally sick from succumbing to the ways of our culture in my search for love. It was only through Mary that I finally found what I was looking for and began to heal.
We have had a rough year as a Church, in the midst of the sexual abuse scandals and cover-ups. My own life has been personally touched by this scandal in my search for closeness. As a teenager, I was sexually abused by a volunteer in my parish. My abuser used my desire and need for what I lacked in my own family to get what he desired from me. Although I did not realize it at the time, I was a vulnerable target due to the circumstances of my family life and the patterns of behavior I picked up from it. I was ashamed of myself and did everything I could to justify the behavior of the one who had abused me. I told no one. As I carried this secret and pain with me to college, I strayed into the vast and empty void of hedonism in an effort to escape what had happened and find authentic relationships. I did not find what I was looking for, and in fact, it made my pain and suffering even greater. It was at the pinnacle of this suffering that I encountered my Mother.
As I sat sobbing in my campus’ Catholic center one afternoon, I encountered Our Blessed Mother for the first time. A friend and mentor of mine came and sat next to me in the chapel. As I cried to her about my desire for maternal love and screamed “I don’t have a mother!” she calmly said, “you know that hurts her.” She then pointed to a statue of our Blessed Mother that I had providentially sat directly in front of. “Let her be your mother,” she urged.
For the next few months, she walked with me as I learned how to do this. She shared her experiences of Mary’s motherhood with me when I had no idea how to have a relationship with Mary. I also studied various texts on the role of our Blessed Mother. After I had spent a while getting to know Mary through study and direct prayer to her, I decided to consecrate myself to Christ through her. Marian Consecration allows us to rely on Mary in every aspect of our life. It is safe to assume that Christ loves His mother very much and listens to her petitions very closely. Through consecration to Mary, we offer our graces and intentions to her. We ask her to purify our intentions, to intercede with Christ for us, and to distribute the grace as she sees fit. This requires a great amount of trust.
It is the role of all mothers to lead their children closer to Christ, and Mary provides the perfect example to follow. In a very real way, she nurtures the Church with grace and protects us from harm through her intercession with the One she formed in her very womb. Her intercession and protection filled the deep wounds in my heart that had been given to me from my earthly family. In a very real way, I felt the warmth of our Blessed Mother working in me. I was able to trust in Mary as my mother and she did not abandon or betray my trust. This nurturing and radical love gave me the courage to come to Jesus in an authentic and completely honest way. It allowed me to give Him my full self and surrender the parts of me that were tortured and bound with shame. Because of my relationship with Mary, I had gained an authentic and intimate relationship with Christ that I would otherwise never have known.
This intimacy with Christ propelled my life from the cycle of shame I was trapped in into joyful relationships and belonging. It allowed me to mend relationships with many in my earthly family as, for the first time, I knew in my heart that I was loved beyond all measure. I was able to come forward about the abuse that had happened to me within my parish. Although this was a difficult journey, I did not face it alone. Members of the Church helped me find healing in the proper places–places that would lead to lasting peace, rather than temporary comfort. Because of my journey with Mary, my relationship with my own earthly family has been set on the path to healing. The strength Mary has graced me with has helped me show my true self and thus be fully alive. My relationship with Mary has been the most healing experience of my life. She loves in such a perfect and pure way that healing grace flows forth.
We all are wounded in some way, whether it be emotionally, spiritually, or physically. I can speak from personal experience that a relationship with Mary can and does heal. The power of her maternal love is invaluable. Prayerfully consider whether or not our Blessed Mother is calling you to meet her; Mary will not abandon you in your search for healing. All you have to do is “let her be your Mother.”