May, Month of Mothers and the Mother of Mercy

By Chris Sparks

I love that May is dedicated to Our Lady. 

In many ways, May feels most like Our Lady to me — she is spring, in a sense, an endlessly pure, innocent, and fresh mother, giving rise to new life. In her Heart, we all are held close, as is God. Where else can sinners and the Holy One of Israel all find a common home? 

It’s so fitting that May is also the month of Mother’s Day, celebrated this year on May 12. Every good mother is a good mother insofar as she is a shadow, an imitation of Our Lady, Mother of God, Mother of Mercy, and Mother of All the Living.

In her motherhood, Our Lady bridges eternity and time. By being the Mother of Jesus, who is the New Adam, she is the Mother of the Son of God and the Son of Man, and of all those whom He has redeemed, those who have yet to convert and those who are already the members of His Mystical Body. 

Mary is mother of saints and sinners, of this world and the next. In this sense, Mary is both the New Heavens and the New Earth already, beginning from the first moments of her existence, and now fully, as she dwells in glory in Heaven.

Dwell in the Immaculate Heart
When we are in the state of grace, God dwells in our hearts. Mary never existed without God dwelling in her Heart. From the first moment of her existence, her heart was already His Heaven, His home. But it wasn’t enough for God to live within her Heart; He chose to become her Son, as well, chose to make a home within her flesh for nine months.

When the time was right, the angel Gabriel came to her and got her consent for her womb to become the home of the Son for nine months. Our Lady was not herself the Incarnation of God, but the Mother of the Incarnate God; she is not God, but she is daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Life itself found shelter within her flesh. Love itself dwells in her Heart, and calls her Spouse. Mercy dwelt in her womb for nine months, and abides in her heart forever. Truth abides within her, and Goodness, and Beauty.

Spring is for poetry
Earthly spring comes at unexpected hours, and fades into the heat of summer far too soon. Mary is eternal spring, mother to every member of the Mystical Body of Christ, mothering souls into new and eternal life until the consummation of history (see Rev 12).

Saint Faustina puts it beautifully:

O Mary, Immaculate Virgin,
Pure crystal for my heart,
You are my strength, O secure anchor,
You are a shield and protection for a weak heart.

O Mary, you are pure and unparalleled,
Virgin and Mother at one and the same time;
You’re beautiful as the sun, by nothing defiled.
Nothing is worthy of comparison to the image of
     Your soul.

Your beauty enthralled the Thrice-Holy One’s eye,
That He came down from heaven, forsaking th’eternal
     See’s throne,
And assumed from Your Heart Body and Blood,
Hiding for nine months in the Virgin’s Heart.

O Mother, Virgin, this will no one comprehend,
That the infinite God is becoming a man;
It’s only love’s and His inscrutable mercy’s purpose.
Through You, Mother — it’s given us to live with Him
     for ever.

O Mary, Virgin Mother and Heaven’s Gate,
Through You salvation came to us;
Every grace to us streams forth through Your hands,
And faithful imitation of You only will sanctify me.

O Mother, Virgin — most beautiful Lily.
Your Heart was for Jesus the first tabernacle on earth,
And that, because Your humility was the deepest,
Wherefore You were raised above Angel choirs
     and Saints.

O Mary, my sweet Mother,
To You I turn over my soul, my body and my poor heart.
Be the safeguard of my life,
Especially at death’s hour, in the final fight 
(Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 161).

Let us pray
So in this month of Mary, let’s recommit ourselves to our Marian devotions, especially the daily Rosary for peace in the world. Let’s ask Our Lady to bring our world together, as it already is one in her Immaculate Heart and in her love.

Let’s ask the Immaculate Heart to intercede with God, its tenant, for the needs of the innocent who suffer in this world, for the conversion of the wicked who wield too much power in this world, and for generosity from those among the wealthy who hoard the resources of this world. 

Let us pray for friends, neighbors, family, and enemies alike, knowing that all are children of Our Lady, whether they know it or not, whether they accept that relationship or not, for she loves everyone whom God loves, as God loves, with God’s own Love, the Holy Spirit, her Spouse.

Pray for me, that I may practice what I preach. I’ll pray for you. 

Photo by Jonathan  Dick/Unsplash.


You might also like...

"We must teach others about Christ," said Bl. María Inés Teresa of the Blessed Sacrament (feast day: July 22). "We missionaries should not, therefore, let a day go by without our talking of Christ to others. To know that only a small number of people know the true God (Love) should be a source of torment for us."

She is perhaps the most popular representation of the Blessed Mother: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose feast we celebrate on July 16. group of papal envoys brought a cardinal’s hat to St. Bonaventure, whose feast we celebrate on July 15, while he was busy washing dishes outside a convent. The saint told the envoys to hang the cap upon a tree until he was finished.