I recently developed some unusual physical symptoms that led me to seek a doctor. It took 2 months to finally make the appointment – trust issues, mostly. I wanted a doctor that was recommended or at least had a good reputation in the area of specialty I needed. Everyone who was recommended to me was not accepting new patients, and so my symptoms persisted. I did a lot of research on my own and was pretty sure my self-diagnosis was spot on. All I needed was a doctor to verify it and give me the correct remedy to heal it. Meanwhile, friends shared having similar symptoms and gave various advice that I did or did not take depending on how I viewed their expertise and/or how much I agreed with their approaches.
Eventually, I picked a doctor our insurance covered, with no recommendations or reviews, because he was available in the time frame that interested me. I started to pray for this visit. I prayed that the doctor would get to the bottom of things and that Blessed Mother would use him as an instrument in her hands. The appointment was quick and sweet and I was scheduled for a full-blown analysis of my insides. Another two weeks to wait, but answers were being sought and I could live with my symptoms for that much longer.
The day before my big exam I started to have trials of imagination. My self-diagnosis faded in the background and a scary, more serious condition seemed inevitable. I started to wonder if I could live with the bad news. After all, why shouldn’t I receive bad news? I am on various prayer chains and I know that bad things are happening all the time to people just like me. I melted that afternoon. In tears I ran to my room and started to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I was begging my Mommy (Blessed Mother) to help me. I didn’t know God’s will, but I knew that I wouldn’t have a chance of accepting it without her helping me. Without her carrying me through it and obtaining for me the graces necessary to carry my cross. As soon as the chaplet was over, a peace came upon me. I was reassured that I was not alone and that I did not have to bear the burden on my own. I was reassured that without Christ, I would foil all of God’s plans for my life, but that with Him all things are possible (cf. Jn 15:5, Mt 19:26, and Lk 1:37).
How easy it is for me to run to Blessed Mother when it comes to my physical/mental suffering. In these areas I find it easier to fall to my knees and NEED my Mother. But, when it comes to the spiritual things…how long do I wait? When symptoms of my sinfulness pop up do I start planning my trip to the “doctor?” Do I start by making an appointment to talk to my spiritual father, confessor or spiritual mentor? Or do I start by self-diagnosing my motivations? Do I choose first to go to the Internet or to rely on my interpretations of the writings of the saints? When faith-sharing with others about their paths and experiences, do I seek only someone who will agree with me, or do I listen to the Spirit in and through my spiritual friends? Do I pray for my spiritual father to have the graces to properly diagnose me?
In the end, do I see that when it comes to spiritual things I have no other choice than to accept my lack of knowing – my blindness – my NEED for Mother Mary?
Usually I exhaust all human problem-solving attempts before I drop to my knees in the spiritual life. What a waste of time! Blessed Mother is waiting for me at the beginning of my recognizing the symptoms. In fact, couldn’t it be that she is the one helping me to see the symptoms in the first place? Since living life in communion with Christ through Mary, I have the grace to know that she is waiting for me right now! I don’t even have to get trapped in sin when I remember to go to her so that she can remind me of all her Son can do for me. Running to my room, falling to the floor, I can beg her right away to carry me through my spiritual trials, to obtain the graces necessary for me to carry my crosses. Wow! Thanks MOM. Thanks for your “yes” to helping me obtain Heaven. Thank you for your “yes” in loving me with all the truth about me. Thank you for assuring me that without Christ, I will foil God’s plans for my life – but with Him, all things are possible.
As we discover each new symptom of the sickness of our soul, we have to bring it to Christ, our Divine Physician, who is the only one upon whom our hope rests. If we called upon Him each time to liberate and heal us, we quite possibly would not have to be sick. By His suffering on the Cross, Jesus redeemed not only the sins that we commit, but also the sins from which He prevents us. (S.C. Biela, God Alone Suffices, 3rd. ed. [Ft.Collins, CO: IAMF, 2011], 146.)