Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Mary, Will You Help Me? - #PrayerStories #AveMomsPray

Heidi Hess Saxton shares this beautiful prayer story about Mary and the Miraculous Medal.

Heidi Saxton is the author of The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers. I am pleased to be a contributor to this book! Preorder Special! Use this code PATRICE and get your copy for $18 (Regularly $21.95!) plus free shipping!

 


 

Was there ever a time when you didn’t feel close to Mary? I used to feel that way. Let me share my #PrayerStory.

Like many mothers, Mary shows her love in the details of our lives. Think about the wedding at Cana. Amid all the laughing and celebrating, she was the one to notice that the wine supply was getting low, and took steps to rectify the situation, gently chiding Jesus to intervene: “They have no wine!” (Jn 2:3). 

When I became Catholic as a thirty-year-old single woman, it took some time for me to warm up to Jesus’s mother. I didn’t pray the Rosary, not at first. My confirmation sponsor tried to teach me about the communion of saints, and even gave me a little silver Miraculous Medal, but I didn’t see the point: When I had something to say to God, I just did what I’d done all my life: I went straight to Jesus. (Sorry, Mary.)

Then about a year after my confirmation, I relocated halfway across the country for work, and rebooted my life in Michigan. Week after week I went to church … and week after week I left without having spoken to a single soul. (Protestants are way better at circling the welcome wagons.) Finally, one wintery day I spotted that Miraculous Medal sitting on my car console, and picked it up.

“God, if I shouldn’t be doing this, please don’t let anything happen that I might mistake for an answer. But Mary-if-you-can-hear-me-send-someone-to-sit-with-me-in-mass-Amen.”

I went inside, took off my coat, piled it beside me, and got on the kneeler. A few minutes later, there was a tap on my shoulder and a strange woman standing beside me. “Hi. I just moved into town. Can I sit with you?”

Dumbly, I nodded and moved over. Coincidence, I told myself.

The next week, I picked up the medal again. “That wasn’t funny, God. I’m not kidding, I’ll keep doing this if it happens again. Mary-if-you-hear-me-send-me-someone-to-sit-with-me-Amen.

I went inside, took off my coat, piled it beside me, and got on the kneeler. A few minutes later, there was another lady standing there. Again, I slid over and let her sit with me.

The third week, I was a little ashamed to ask again, but … I had to be sure. “Okay, Mary. One more time. Just one more time. Amen.”

This time there was a new family in the parish, who sat in the pew in FRONT of me, displacing the four Hispanic sisters who usually sat there. So when they got to church a little late, the oldest one tapped me on the shoulder. “Can we sit with YOU this week, dear?” Umm… sure.

I could almost hear her velvet chuckle.

Fast-forward ten years. I had married Craig, moved into our new home, and gone through training to become new foster parents. A few weeks in to our first placement, I was rocking the little boy in the middle of the night – he wouldn’t let me touch him during the day, but at night he would let me rock him to keep away the monsters. And as I rocked and sang to him, a thought went through my head, as clear as if someone was sitting beside me.

This is what you’ve been like with me. The only time you come is when you’re scared and lonely.

It was a little embarrassing. She was right. But she got the last laugh – I was scared and lonely A LOT that year, as a new mother to three little kids (a sibling group), our first and only foster care placement. I learned to lean heavily on the communion of saints, putting little St. Michel statues near their beds and even picking up the Rosary in the wee hours.

I learned that Mary, like any mother, shows her love in the details. And almost always in the darkest hours of the night.

When was the last time you asked Mary to help you? How did she answer?

#PrayerStories   #AveMomsPray   #APB4CM

 

© 2021 Heidi Hess Saxton. Used with permission. All rights reserved. 


 

Heidi Saxton is the author of The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers. I am pleased to be a contributor to this book! Preorder Special! Use this code PATRICE and get your copy for $18 (Regularly $21.95!) plus free shipping! Plus, I earn a commission off of each sale, so you are helping to support me which I greatly appreciate! (Code is good Sept 1 - Oct 15)

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