By Lois Heron
My first encounter with the beauty of our Blessed Mother came through the 1968 release of the popular song “Let It Be” by the Beatles. What the Beatles communicated in that song, though not exactly scriptural, began to draw me to Mary long before I converted to Catholicism decades later. The notion that the mother of Jesus could speak words of wisdom to me intrigued me.
Later in life when I was a tenderfoot Catholic, I began contemplating all the words of our Blessed Mother and I found that praying “let it be” could usher me into the grace the Lord has for all who will magnify Him. How so? By observing this grace-filled woman, this perfect mother, we learn how to detach ourselves from our own notions about how life should go.
Let’s use the Beatles song to expand on how Mary’s fiat leads us into wisdom.
“When I find myself in times of trouble…” Our Blessed Mother knew times of trouble, knew what confusion felt like, what rejection felt like, what poverty felt like. Her response to those rugged realities, “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart,” (Luke 2:19) reveals her humility.
As we learn to respond rather than to react when the unexpected throws us off-kilter, we leave room in our soul to reflect on the circumstances from the Lord’s point of view as Mary surely did. In that space of reflection we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit’s wise counsel. Though life may remain rugged, we may more readily accept the pratfalls of life as sacred ground for our spirit to rest in the Lord’s great love for us.
“And in the hour of darkness…” Allow me to use my own experience with “the hour of darkness” to show how our Blessed Mother comes to us speaking words of wisdom. In the years before I officially converted to the Catholic Church, I devoured books written by contemplative Catholics. My spirit kindled to what they wrote about the sacramental life of the Church, especially when the life of our Blessed Mother was the topic. My spirit opened to belief in her intercession for me.
One afternoon I was feeling the sear of pain in an unspeakable tragedy our family was enduring. The hours, months, years were indeed dark! I cannot say I put Mary to the test, but somewhere deep down I hoped that she would be my mother as I was being a mother in the midst of loss and grief.
As I dropped to the floor from physical exhaustion of the trauma, I began to pray. Who did I pray to? The Lord of course, but who was there holding me, weeping with me, crying out with me the extreme of my emotions? It was our Blessed Mother! I cannot articulate the infused comfort and hope my spirit received that day, but I experienced the “lifting up of the lowly” that Mary declared in her Magnificat.
“And when the night is cloudy…” When we are on our last tether and we can’t see our way through a dilemma, if we listen, we hear the echo of our Blessed Mother say to Jesus, “They have no wine.” (John 2:3) When our resources don’t measure up to the expectation of others, if we listen we can hear, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5) And what do we do when Christ abundantly supplies? We do as Mary does: we reflect on God’s goodness and treasure it in our heart.
“I wake up to the sound of music…” As we pray the rosary of our Blessed Mother, we join Mary in contemplating the joys of the life of our Savior. He laughs, he celebrates. When He walks in He literally lights things up! And we can imagine Mary laughing right along. Why? For she knew that “The Mighty One has done great things for me.” (Luke 1:49)
We receive the same peace and joy when our mighty Savior does great things in us!