Long before I know the Christian faith, I already knew Mother Mary. When I was small, there used to be the Gideons Bible lying around my house and at hotels I went to. Not knowing what a Bible is, I took it as a story book. I think I had stumbled upon the King James version too which is even mind boggling.
Frankly, if you have no inkling about Christianity and you read Genesis on the first few pages of the Bible, i.e. when God make the earth and man, you will find them more amusing than fairy tales. But when you have open your heart to learn and seek, suddenly everything falls into place. So, if you want to know the Bible, go to any bookshop (or just ask anyone you know) and look for the New International Version. The contents of the Bible are the same but the sentences structure is made easier with the New International version.
Some people accuse the Christians of tailoring the Bible to suit our needs. We take every word seriously, no matter which languague it is in. Some people may want to know what is in the last few paragraphs of the Bible.
16“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelation 22:16 & 18, 19 – Biblegateway)
Back to Mother Mary, I probably had the seed of faith planted in me when I had several surgeries in Penang Adventist Hospital. Each time before I was pushed into the operating theatre, a kind lady would come by and hold my hand and pray for me. I wasn’t a Christian and didn’t believe a thing she said but it is not nice to reject her kind offer. So, I usually played along.
On the wall of the ICU (which I eventually hang around after Vincent’s birth) and the operating theatre, the Adventist Hospital, Penang has this wall murals of surgeons performing operation and between them, stood Jesus, guiding them. At their main entrance, there is the phrase, “God heals, we help.”
Then, at the birth of my eldest son, it was my blonde hair, blue eye (heh, can’t resist this) ob-gynae, Dr. J. Hardesty whom prayed to Mother Mary. He did this before drugging me to sleep. That words stayed with me for a long time. “Mother Mary, please help me to bring this child of Lilian safely.” When I had Vincent, I also asked the ob-gynae, a different one to pray for me. And later on, when Vincent was struggling for his life, I asked Mother Mary to watch over him when I wasn’t there.
Now, as a Catholic, Mother Mary is very much adored. However, I admit that I haven’t much spare time to recite the rosary every day as it takes about 45minutes to 1 hour to do a complete one. (used to do it until I had my toddler) I am still learning and trying to get to know Mother Mary more intimately.
I used to have a fear of seeing her image after Vincent died. A few times, when I saw her with a baby in her arms, I broke down in church. It was so bad that I purposely avoid anything to do with Mother Mary. I will not attend anything that will cause me to see that image (a painting). It was after a long while that I realised Mother Mary had gone through what bereaved moms like me went through. We know the pain of losing a child and also the pain of seeing him suffer. Until now, I am just learning to get close to her.
To some of the Christians denominations, they had refuted that Mary is the Mother of God because they insisted that in the Bible, Jesus never acknowledgel Mary as mother. For us Catholics, we have a different adoration for Mary. However, other Christians denominations must understand that our adoration for Mother Mary is not a sign of praying to her. We only pray to God.
Today, I found a blog which has a very complete explanation on this matter. And QV, thanks for mentioning me in your blog. I am very touched and blessed. Your thoughts here surely touched other mothers too:
Through Mary, we can see how great is our own’s mother’s love for all of us. The Sacrifces that they make for our sake. The times of hardship they have to face to bring us up and most importantly, the love they show to us at all times. Our own mother, through their suffering and pain of bringing us up as individuals, bears also the same pain and suffering of our Blessed Mother at Calvary. Therefore we as children, should return that love to our own mother and also to our Heavenly mother. We, should be like Christ, submit ourselves to our mother’s request and love and be with them.
Do check out Journey of a Soul blog. I have learnt so much about the Catholic faith this afternoon when I went through it. With the recent bombardment of things spewed out by Discovery Channel, Da Vinci Code and whatnots, I am so glad to find a blog like QV’s which gives me a balanced views. Peeps, please note that the Mary mentioned in Da Vinci Code is mere fictitious matter. That Mary Magdelene is just a faithful follower and blown out of proportion by a few frivolous fiction novelists. The only Mary you need to know is the Virgin Mary, the woman who gave birth to Jesus.
Remember this when you are in troubles :
MEMORARE: Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to Your protection, implored Your help, or sought Your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To You we come; before You we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in Your mercy, hear and answer us. Amen.