All numbers in parenthesis represent the paragraph number of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The purpose of our life is to be with God in Heaven (1); not for any selfish reasons such as recognition, the fears of hell or the joys of Heaven; but because we love God.1
The path to Heaven is narrow and difficult (Matthew 7:14) and it cannot be widened or leveled. Instead, we must become stronger. We must become saints.
Compare a soldier and a common citizen. If both are put on a difficult path, the soldier endures, not because the path is different (they are on the same path), but because the soldier is trained and equipped, while the common citizen is not.
Likewise, when you follow The Little Marian Way, you will endure, not because life or your crosses will be easier, but because you will be stronger.
With that in mind, let us begin.
Behold your mother
Please help me to see Your mother as my mother, please love me as Your beloved disciple, and please give me the grace to say the Rosary with devotion.
My Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power. I love you. Thank you for loving me first.
+ Amen +
So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag′dalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture), “I thirst.” A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
– John 19:25-30
Becoming the Beloved Disciple
When mankind sinned, the gates of Heaven were closed to us. To open that door, Christ had to pay the price for our sins. And the price of sin was death.
Yet He willingly paid that price. He suffered brutally and died on the Cross because He loved us and wanted to bring us home. We owe so much to Christ and His Cross.
That is why Christ’s words on the Cross are so important.
On the Cross, Christ issued His last two commands. To His mother, “Woman, behold your son” and to His beloved disciple, “Behold your mother.”
Who is His mother? It is Mary.
Who is the beloved disciple? It is St. John. But, it is also us! You see, St. John, though he was with Christ since the beginning of His ministry, only calls himself “the one whom Jesus loved” near the end of Christ’s life. Specifically, he calls himself loved when he:
- Rested on Christ’s chest at the Last Supper (John 13:23);
- Stood by the Cross and accepted Mary as His mother (John 19:26);
- Remained with St. Peter (John 20:2);
- Carried out his daily duties as a Christian (John 21:7).
So, if we do all of the above, then we too will become beloved disciples, the ones “whom Jesus loved,” and He will come again to take us to where He is.
Accepting Mary as our Mother
Of the four characteristics listed above, accepting Mary as our mother (the second characteristic) is the anchor.
Why? For two reasons:
Mary was given to us at the Cross
The first reason is because Mary was given to us at the Cross just before Christ’s death; the death that would save all humanity.
Mary’s motherhood over us is Christ’s last gift and last command to us.
If we want to become disciples whom Jesus loves, should we not accept His last gift?
If we prove our love for Him by following His commands (John 14:15), should we not follow His last command?
A child of Mary transforms into a beloved disciple
The second reason is because when we accept Mary as our mother, we do everything the beloved disciple does.
By accepting Mary as our mother:
- We stay close to the heart of Christ because Mary sits beside Christ.
- We stand by the Cross because she takes the beloved disciple to the Cross.
- We remain with the successor of St. Peter, the Pope, because the Pope sits by Christ as His vicar and therefore sits by Mary as well.
- And we complete our duties as Christians because we do everything under Mary’s supervision.
As such, to become the beloved disciple, we must turn to Mary. That is why The Little Marian Way is Marian – it depends on Mary.
And that is why, today, before you go on any further in life, please accept Mary as your own mother; not as a metaphor but as your true mother. Just as your natural mother is your true mother in the order of nature, Mary is your true mother in the order of grace (Revelation 12:17).
How much Mary loves you
Mary is not like any other mother. She is the perfect mother. She is loving and gentle and loves you with a love that cannot be matched by any mother on earth. She treasures you as her own child and wants to shelter you under her shadow and protection. She wants to hold you in the crossing of her arms and in the folds of her mantle.
Hear these words Mary said to St. Juan Diego at Guadalupe.1
“Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”
When you become her child, she treats you beyond what any loving mother would be capable of. In your trials, she is there with you and prays for you and God answers. She flies to your aid faster than you could ever turn to her in prayer. She desires your salvation more than you could ever love God to go there. And she will carry you in her arms to Christ who reigns in Heaven.b2
How Mary helps us in life
The Christian way of life is hard. Because of Original Sin, we have to fight our own inclinations to sin and the temptations of the world just to take the next step forward in holiness.
If we take this difficult journey alone, we run the risk of falling to the side, freezing in our tracks, getting lost, retreating or exposing ourselves to danger more often than we need to.
But when we accept Mary as our mother, the journey is made easier; not because the path is easier, but because the Mother of God is our guide.
She keeps us from falling, and even if we do fall, she picks us up. She keeps us moving forward even if the world advances against us. And she defends us against her enemy, the devil.
Every faithful Christian is cherished by God, but for the special class of faithful Christians who have explicitly given themselves to Mary, God treats them differently because God treats Mary differently.
Whatever Mary asks for, Christ grants her because she asks Christ as His mother. When we become her child, she advocates for us, and as a result, God grants. Let me put it this way:
Accepting Mary as your mother is your sign from God that He will bring you home.b1, b2
Christ’s warning to those without Mary
You are invited to Heaven and Christ has paid the price to receive you there, but heed His warning which He issues in this parable:
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come. … Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.’
And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment; and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew 22:1-14
Why did the king reject the guest who was initially allowed to attend the ceremony? Because he did not wear his wedding garment. This may seem extreme, but here is the reason.
Mary is the Mediatrix of all Grace. When you receive your white garment from the Holy Spirit, it is given to you by Mary. But, if you do not know Mary, how will you receive your garment?
Everyone in Heaven knows and loves Mary. Let it not be you, of all people, to not know her. Christ has warned that even if people call His name, He may answer “I never knew you; depart from me you evildoers,” if they do not do God’s will (Matthew 7:21-23).
Yet, be not afraid. You have been preserved until this moment and are reading this reflection because God wants you to know your mother. And with her help, you will be preserved until Heaven.
Think of Mary
Today, spend some time thinking of Mary as your own true mother.
Say the Rosary today. It will take you 20 minutes. We will discuss its importance shortly, but develop the habit now. Also, before you begin praying, do not rely on your own strength, but ask Mary for help.