Our Lady and St. Juan Diego

Our Lady and St. Juan Diego

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Entrustment to Mary = Being Grateful for an Infected Swimming Pool

Would you rather:

(a)    Vomiting and diarrhea

(b)   Fever and chills

(c)    Pink eye

(d)   Headaches, muscle pain and cough

(e)   All of the above.

Yep, all of my 5 children came down with some or all of the symptoms during the end of spring break, plus a double ear infection for the toddler, and they, of course, overlapped their illness and school absences to last about 12 days.   We had visited my sister’s family during Easter and they had so generously provided great food and entertainment.  Unfortunately (we later discovered), the new pool guy hadn’t quite mastered his tasks.  As we drove home earlier than planned, I came to find out that all of her children came down with similar symptoms, lasting about the same amount of time.  The only thing that kept us going as mothers-taking-care-of-sick-kids were our daily texts about who was the next one to bite the dust!  Trying to keep a little humor made a big difference, but still, taking care of sick kids plus related laundry and such took a toll on me.  I became very tired, very frustrated, very weak and helpless. 


I have been praying for some time now to be a gentler mother, a more present-in-the-moment mother.  God provided a fabulous opportunity.  Because I was so very helpless, I quite literally had to beg Him for the strength to get through each day.  I found myself amazed at how calm I was, at the strength to persevere.  I was pretty patient and was able to comfort my children quite nicely.  “Thank you, God, for allowing me to be the mother I always wanted to be,” I prayed to Him one evening.  Of course, the very next morning I had to see who I really was (short-tempered, impatient, easily irritated), in order to give all the glory to God for “my” gentleness and patience.  I saw once again ‘who I am’ versus WHO IS.


After being reminded once again that conversion is a life-long process and that without God I am nothing, my young daughter started to notice all that WE (Blessed Mama and me together) were doing.  She kept thanking me for every little thing – giving out medicine or cold washcloths, doctor visits, hot soup, bubbly soda for those with upset stomachs.  She noticed all the laundry I was doing, all the disinfecting, all the stories I read.  She thanked me for each movie she watched, and the meals I prepared.  She noticed all the homework assignments I helped with, and the little errands I ran.  She noticed every little thing!  I could only smile and give the glory to God.  As she complimented me on being such a good mom, I forwarded the thanks to Blessed Mama.  I already knew how frustrated I felt on the inside, and how exhausted I felt.  I smiled, too, because I was so grateful that Blessed Mama was carrying me, and that those around me got a glimpse of her presence.  I was amazed at the gratitude that my daughter expressed, and couldn’t help but ask myself, “How aware am I of all the little things that Blessed Mama does for me?  How grateful am I?”


And so, it is a special grace if you discover the maternal role of Mary in your life.


Why do you receive this grace?

This is a mystery of God’s election.

But remember, the grace needs a committed response.

You do not receive a talent in order to bury it in the ground.

You must make use of it – in accordance with the will of God –

for your own sanctification and for the sanctification of others.

Because of this, implore Mary that your whole life

may be permeated by the awareness

that you are ‘carried by her in her arms.’

(S.C. Biela, In the Arms of Mary, 2nd.ed, rev. [Ft. Collins, CO:  IAMF, 2005], 173).


And so, looking at these events in the light of faith, why not be grateful for an infected swimming pool?  God must have allowed it as He saw fit, knowing it would further push me into the arms of my Mother. Is there any other place I’d rather be? 

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