by Ken Rolheiser
Faith and Holy Mary our Mother

A workman on scaffolding in a cathedral looked down and saw a woman praying before a statue of Mary. As a joke he whispered, "Woman, this is Jesus." The woman ignored him. He spoke more loudly, "Woman, this is Jesus." She still ignored him. Finally he said aloud, "This is Jesus." She looked up and said, "Be quiet, I'm talking to your mother." 

It has been fifty years since my earthly mother left us for her place in heaven. I ask her and my other Mother Mary for blessings in the day-to-day struggles of family living. I cannot get enough of sharing the blessings of Mary’s answers to our prayers.

In 1876 Estelle Faquette was dying of tuberculosis at age thirty-three. She placed a letter to Mary near her statue: O my good Mother, here I am again prostrate at your feet. You cannot refuse to hear me. You cannot have forgotten that I am your daughter and that I love you. Grant me therefore from your divine Son, the health of my poor body for His glory. See the pain of my parents… you know that they have only me to provide for them. 

Mary cured her and part of her reply said, “I showed this letter to my Son. Your parents need you.” Mary appeared to Estelle fifteen times. (from A Moment with Mary.)

A Moment with Mary shares the story “Mary smiled at my grandmother”,
which takes place in Grenoble, France, in 1940, where my grandmother had taken refuge with her three children after my grandfather was sent to a prison camp in Germany. 

My mother was eight when she caught rheumatic fever. My grandmother taught her to offer her suffering for priests. when she could no longer stand up one night, a great light filled her room and she saw the Virgin Mary smile at her. She then fell asleep peacefully.

Next morning, my mother actually jumped out of bed and informed my grandmother that she was no longer ill. The doctor confirmed the cure.

I have shared Elvis Presley’s “Miracle of the Rosary” song where he sings: Thanks for the miracle of Your Rosary
Only You can hold back
Your Holy Son’s hand
Long enough for the whole world to understand

And Pavarotti and Clapton’s duet in which Clapton sings
Holy mother, where are you?
Tonight I feel broken in two
Holy mother, can't keep from crying

Take away this pain … I can't wait any longer
I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait for you

Then Pavarotti sings:
Holy mother, hear my cry

Oh I feel the end has come
No longer my legs will run
You know I would rather be
In your arms tonight

They continue:
Clapton: When my hands no longer play
And Pavarotti: My voice is still, I fade away
Then together: Holy mother, then I'll be
Lying in, safe within your arms

Mary is no stranger to life’s suffering. She suffered the seven sorrows in her life culminating with the death and Burial of Jesus.

How close are we to Mary? We are baptized into the life of Christ. That makes us brothers with Mary’s son. She loves us as her children. If we are not aware of this relationship, we are missing a great love in our lives.

(561 words)