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 | By Sister Ann Shields

Draw Closer to the Blessed Mother This May

Honor your mother and ask her to lead you closer to her Son. She wants nothing more than to help you do just that.

May is traditionally the month in the calendar year set apart for special devotion to Mary. But as you can see from the list of feast days below, almost all of the months celebrate some aspect of Mary’s life. What a way to honor our heavenly mother! But, sadly, I find that most Catholics can usually only name one or two feasts out of so many. This means that Mary does not play much of a part in our daily lives.

That is a mistake that needs to be rectified. 

The traditional morning offering dedicates our day to the Lord through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pray this prayer every morning; Jesus, your Lord and Savior, hears every word. And his mother, in her quiet, simple but powerful way, will lead you closer to God.

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, the reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.

The rosary, which is the prayer given to us to intercede through Mary for all our needs and our crosses, is very powerful. As a good mother, Mary hears the prayers of her children. Are we too “sophisticated” to pray the rosary? Some will say, “Oh, that was for my childhood, but now that I am an adult, I don’t need to go to my mother!” What a sad mistake. 

Let’s take a look at Scripture. The mother of God had to learn to submit her will to God’s plan and it was not easy. But once she knew clearly what God’s will was, she embraced it, as we hear in Luke 1:38: “Be it done unto me according to thy word.” Sometimes, when we see what needs to happen in our lives, we don’t like what we see and we try to avoid making any decision, or we make the decision we would like to make and ignore asking God what his will is for us. Come to your mother. Ask her to help you make the right decision. She will. And you will know peace and happiness.

Sometimes, when we have sinned grievously, we are so embarrassed that we try to hide or excuse ourselves or just try to ignore it. That is no way to happiness. Ask the Blessed Mother to pray for you; ask the Holy Spirit to give you courage to be honest with yourself, with God and with others, as needed. A mother’s prayers are delicate and simple and Mary, our mother, will never stop praying for you to repent of your sin, to be set free and to become more and more her Son’s disciple. There is plenty of help for conversion, for repentance, for wisdom, for courage. Your mother, by her prayer, will guide you to the source of all help.

Mary, our mother, knew what it was to carry the cross of suffering: hardship; exile; loneliness; the agonizing, horrible death of her Son; the taunts; the gossip; the hatred directed toward her Son … She can teach us so much about the way to carry our cross. Will you draw close to her so she can teach you? 

One way to grow in your relationship with Mary is to look at the feast days listed here. Choose one or two or three. Make them special days this year in your personal life. Honor your mother and ask her to lead you closer to her Son. She wants nothing more than to help you do just that.

Jan. 1: The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God* 

Jan. 8: Our Lady of Prompt Succor

Feb. 2: Presentation of the Lord in the Temple 

Feb. 11: Our Lady of Lourdes 

March 25: Annunciation 

May 13: Our Lady of Fatima 

May 31: Visitation

June 27: Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Aug. 15: Assumption*

Aug. 22: The Queenship of Mary

Sept. 8: Birth of Mary

Sept. 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary

Sept. 15: Our Lady of Sorrows

Oct. 7: Our Lady of the Rosary

Nov. 21: Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Dec. 8: Immaculate Conception* 

Dec. 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe 

*Holy day of obligation