After a week at Vacation Bible School my Little One shared a fear of dying on the cross. I wasn't there to know what was presented to the kids, but the Little One would end our prayers in tears saying “I don’t want to die on the cross, Mommy.” I shared with her that Jesus already died on the Cross for us because we wouldn't have been able to do so. I shared that we should be so happy and thankful to Jesus that He did this for us. We also talked about how special it will be when we die and have our “new eyes” that can finally see Mary and Jesus.
Last night the Little One woke me up at 3 a.m. It has become a regular occurrence, although unpredictable – 3 am, 1 am, 5 am.... The issue this time was a painful shoulder from a mosquito bite on top of her sunburn. In trying to soothe the Little One, I started asking her to pray to Blessed Mother that She might accept the pain for her, so that it would stop hurting. There was a definite resistance to this prayer. The Little One preferred to repeatedly say “it hurts” and to want to take care of it by rubbing and scratching the mosquito bite and sunburn. (Hmmm, not much different than my lack of trust when I choose to complain rather than pray for relief from a headache, or ask Mary to be my patience with the kids or to hold me during an anxiety attack. What a gift to see this similarity in attitude…in the wee hours of the morning.) I kept encouraging the Little One to ask. Then she said to me “you say the words for me.”
This phrase struck me. It is what communion of life with Christ through Mary is really about. It reminded me that by asking Mary to pray for me, I am freeing my will for God’s action. I am allowing my locked door to be opened by the key of Love.
Through spiritual direction I have become convinced that Blessed Mother is ready and willing to cooperate with me if I allow Her to. She waits for my free will to be given to Her. When I give it to Her, miracles start to happen. It has taken faith and perseverance to believe that this is really true. When I experience my resistance, it is a reminder for me that I am so prideful! I usually am resistant because I fear not having my prayers answered the way I want them to be. In those times, I am not really giving my will over. Instead, I am holding on to my lack of trust that God loves me as I am.
Last night, when I was given the green light to intercede for my daughter, I realized I (on my own) was full of resistance. My resistance started because I was faced with the truth that it was my negligence that the Little One was suffering – I was the one who didn't do a good job with the sunscreen and I was the one who didn't put the bug spray on her. Even though I was the one who caused her suffering, I was faced with the darker truth that, even if I could, I wasn't willing to accept the consequential pain for her.
Fortunately, it didn't end on that note. I begged Blessed Mother to pray in me and for me, with contrition, for me and my Little One. Using me, Blessed Mother shared with the Little One (and me) that her (and my) experience with this little pain should make her (and me) so happy and thankful that Jesus already carried her (my) LARGE cross! Mary wanted both the Little One and me to realize how small we are and to remember how we never could have carried that heavy cross on our own.
This morning, the Little One came to me and said, “Mom, Mary took the pain from this shoulder, but not my other shoulder.” So, WE (Mary and I) reminded her to keep asking. Later, she came to me and said “Mary took away all the pain, Mommy!” So, we said together, “Thank you, Mommy Mary! Thank you, Jesus, that you already carried our Heavy Cross!”
While dying on the Cross, the Savior confides His mother to John, and, at the same time, entrusts John and everyone for whom He was dying, to her who abandoned herself totally to God.39
Therefore, do not be terrified by your own weakness.
You yourself, with your own efforts, will never choose the way
of the Cross.
But in fact, the words of Christ’s testament
are a special gift for you.
You also are a child of the Mother of God –
you have a particular right to these words.
Therefore, why are you afraid?
Why do you want to carry your cross alone?
In fact, this is the precise cause of your torment!
In your stubbornness and pride, you want to carry your
cross by yourself.
But, in fact, you will not carry it alone.
you to ask Him for help from His mother.
(S.C. Biela, In The Arms of Mary, 2nd. ed, rev. (Ft.Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005), 157.)