Yesterday’s Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary focused Catholics’ attention on the mother of God. I’ve always had a reverence for Mary, but I’ve gained a newfound devotion to her since becoming a mother almost two years ago.
Being a mommy is by far the best thing I’ve ever done. There’s just nothing that can compare to the joy and pride I feel when my oldest daughter, who will be 2 next month, masters a new word or leans down to place a gentle kiss on my 3-month-old daughter’s head. Nothing compares to the love and gratitude I feel when I see my younger daughter watching her older sister with intense admiration.
That being said, being a mother also is the most exhausting and challenging thing I’ve ever done. It’s in these times of frustration that I tend to reflect on Mary most, wondering if she was ever frustrated by a toddler Jesus, if she ever lost her temper with her son or if she ever second-guessed the decisions she made as she raised him.
I take great comfort in the knowledge that Mary was human like me, even if she was free from original sin — definitely unlike me! I feel like I have an ally in heaven, someone who knows what it’s like to deal with many of the same challenges I face every day. When I ask Mary to pray for me, I feel like she understands what I’m struggling with and knows what I need. And since she’s not only a fellow mother but also my spiritual mother as well, I know she wants the best for me and for all of her children.
I think Mary is a gift to all her children. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving.