Hope in the Midst of Uncertainty: How our Blessed Mother Guides Us to the Light of Christ
Two months into this dreadful pandemic, it is easy to have thoughts of worry, dread, anxiety, and hopelessness. I often wonder when this is going to be over. It’s certainly normal to feel these thoughts. We are all human after all. But we are not alone, and help is so close at hand. We need God more than we ever have. We can achieve that closeness to God in prayer. Just as children seek their mothers in time of worry and anxiety, our Blessed Mother is here to help give us peace. Our Mother Mary can transform us into the spirit of hope…and bring us closer to her son Jesus Christ.
“Be not afraid.” Three little words, but not so easy to do. We keep hearing this in the Gospel over and over, 365 times to be exact. In order to not be afraid, what we really need is to have hope, one of the three great virtues (along with faith and love).
We hear the word hope all the time, but what does it mean from a Catholic perspective? The Catholic Catechism defines hope as: “…the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the Holy Spirit.”
This is where we need to look beyond whatever chaos, woes, or sufferings we are going through and focus on God, our salvation. Hope is my anchor. In my role as a mother, no one inspires me more that our Blessed Mother.
From her obedient and brave “Yes,” Mother Mary’s story is built on hope and trust in God. Her journey was not an easy one. She persevered despite everything she faced. She was faithful through it all. She didn’t question God. She didn’t complain. She supported Jesus and endured the cross with Him.
Our Blessed Mother persevered in hope. She trusted God, no matter how bleak any situation looked. Pondering her life gives me great hope and comfort to not look too closely at any given situation, but to look beyond that to God’s promise of everlasting life. Whatever crosses we bear, let’s accept them with trust and hope. We are not alone. Mary is there to help intercede for us in hopeless times or situations.
The best thing about hope is that it prevents us from being paralyzed in fear and downheartedness.
Praying to Mother Mary for her intercession brings me closer to Jesus. Even praying three Hail Marys has worked wonders for me in times of stress. She brings me hope that God’s love and mercy will overcome anything I’m going through.
For those whose mothers have passed away or are emotionally distant, we are not orphans. We have a Mother in Heaven who loves us so much. She teaches us the virtue of patience. During this time of great uncertainty, we look to her when we find ourselves constantly asking when will this pandemic be over.
The light at the end of the tunnel is our Blessed Mother assuring us that God will never abandon us just as Mary never abandoned her son Jesus. All we need to do is turn to her in times of need and call upon her intercession. She will help lead us through whatever darkness is going on in our life and bring us into the light of life. She will lead us into the light of Jesus Christ.
Just as Mary gives us hope, we as mothers need to be pillars of hope for our children. More than ever, they need our love and reassurance that God will provide for us. Mother Mary’s love reminds us of the love from our own mothers.
The quote that has resonated with me so much during this time is from Paul (Romans 12:12),
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” This is the key to helping us all get through this period. This sums up what kept Mother Mary anchored.
During the Month of May, the month dedicated to Mary, and especially during the time of this pandemic, let us all strengthen our relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary. In doing so, we will build a deeper relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
The most beautiful way of deepening our relationship with our Mother Mary is praying the rosary. It truly is our symbol of hope given to us as children of God. Praying the rosary gives us spiritual nourishment and grants us many graces. This pandemic has paused our normally hectic lives. Now that time seems to have slowed down a little and we are less frantic, let us use this gift of time to pray the rosary daily with our families now. When our schedules resume as life returns back to normal praying the rosary daily will be a part of our daily lives. This practice is now a priority in our schedules and will be part of our new normal state. Nothing brings me more peace than praying the rosary. I find it also strengthens our bond as a family.
Some other things we can do during this time is to make a conscious effort to model our behaviour after our Blessed Mother:
- Say yes to God. Is there something that God is asking us to do? Let’s be brave. Be not afraid. Go out of your comfort zone.
- Practice more patience. Let us learn not to question God on when or why. Accept. Trust. Surrender to God’s will.
- Be humble. Serve others. Admit wrongdoing to others. Put the needs of others before ourselves. Be grateful. Forgive. Submit to God’s will.
- Be joyful. There is always something to be grateful for and to be joyful about. Let us share joy with our families and friends and inspire those around us.
- Journey with someone going through a difficult time or in pain. Who can we help right now? Depression and anxiety are growing at alarming numbers especially among youth. Times like this are even harder. Let us be there for someone who is in great need. That someone may be a family member whom we have been neglecting.
As we honour our blessed Mother especially in the month of May, let us create a special sacred space devoted to Mary. You can make this a special family project where everyone in the family contributes to placing a special item such as a candle, a prayer, rosaries, pictures, statues etc. This sacred space will remind us to stay focussed on our Blessed Mother. It will give us pause to remember to stay faithful to her, and to call upon Mary’s intercession.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Rosina Di Felice
Rosina Di Felice is Catholic wife and mother to an 18-year-old daughter. She is a Salesian Cooperator, works at Salt + Light Media, and is an active member of St. Benedict Parish in Etobicoke, Ontario. She was recently appointed Member of the Board at Sara Elizabeth Centre.