I must confess my devotion to Mary has been very ragged, at best. And yet, the more I read, the more I learn about her, I realize what a wondrous woman she is. She is not divine. She is not a god. She is just a human being, like you and me. But, when asked by an angelic stranger to become the mother of God, she did not hesitate in her response. How very confused she had to be. Did she really understand all that was required of her? “Let it be done, according to Thy will”, is all she says. Total resignation and acceptance of God’s will. Faith and trust that God would be with her throughout all that would be involved. What a force of nature. What an inspiration to all of us.

You, as a parent, if your son, or daughter, called out to you for help would you not immediately drop everything and come to their aid? Wouldn’t you take their outstretched hand and lift them up? As a child, to whom, did you first run to when you fell, when you got hurt, when you were scared? Was it not your mom?  We were confident that they would be there for us. We knew that whatever it was that was hurting us, bothering us, she would fix, she would know what to do.

We are now grown up, or so we think. We are self-sufficient. We can take care of ourselves. What has happened to the child in all of us? How did we lose our trust? When did we lose our willingness to seek out consolation and help? Our Mother of Consolation, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, these are not meaningless titles. They shout out to us from Mary, “I am here. Come to me and I will help you get closer to my Son.”

In this the year of Faith, all of us must get back to our roots. We must get back to the basics of our faith. The trip to Bethlehem, the Birth of Jesus these are not little fairy tales. They don’t come and go with Santa. They are realities of the world. They are events in mankind’s history. Think back to them and their importance. They are the beginnings of Salvation History, our salvation… your salvation. Mary was with Jesus every step of the way. She picked Him up when he had fallen as a child, cried when she was unable to get near Him when He had fallen under the cross. Mary understands our heartaches, because she has experienced them, herself.

When life seems to be hitting you savagely from all sides, when you feel that life is too cruel and all seems hopeless, reach out to her and take her hand. Reach out and ask her for her help. God has given her so many graces for the benefit of humanity. And she will give them to us freely, willingly, lovingly. We know of her. We know of her love for Jesus. We should know, by now, that she loves us as our mother. And, as such, will always be there for us. All we need do is ask. All we need do is reach out and take her hand.

Click here to pray the Novena to Mary. Now is a good time to start. Pentecost is twelve days away.