May, Month of Mary

During the month of May, which the Church dedicates to Mary, if we look around the world, we see many people sharing their love for Mary by going to visit shrines dedicated to her, saying the Rosary, etc.

All of her privileges come from the fact that she is the Mother of God.

As he hung on the Cross, Jesus gave us Mary to be our Mother. “Now there were standing by the Cross of Jesus his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother and the disciple standing by whom he loved, 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 into his home.” (John 19: 25-27). In the person of St. John, the entire human race is represented. The blessed Virgin is our spiritual mother, and she is constantly watching over us. Pope Francis wrote on the Joy of the Gospel: “As a true mother, she walks at our side, she shares our struggles and she constantly surrounds us with God’s love.” (No. 286).

Looking at Mary’s life we see all of the virtues. For example, her fortitude at the foot of the Cross; “Marvel at Mary’s courage: at the foot of the Cross, with the greatest of human sorrows — there is no sorrow like her sorrow — filled with fortitude. And ask her for that same strength, so that you too can remain beside the Cross” (St. Josemarí a, The Way No. 508). She shows us detachment from material things as she led a simple life. She ponders what God’s plans are for her and then is faithful to that plan, although at times it was difficult.

St. Josemaría wrote: “The month of May is beginning. Our Lord wants us to make good use of this opportunity to increase in his love through dealing with his Mother. Let’s try each day to show her, through little things, little attentions, that we, her children, love her, that our holiness and apostolate are becoming something real, that we are making a constant effort to contribute to the salvation which Christ has brought to the world” (Christ is Passing By, No 149).

Pope Francis tells us that we need the Blessed Virgin in the task of evangelizing. “With the Holy Spirit, Mary is always present in the midst of the people. She joined the disciples in praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14) and thus made possible the missionary outburst, which took place at Pentecost. She is the Mother of the Church which evangelizes, and without her we could never truly understand the spirit of the new evangelization.” (The Joy of the Gospel, 284).

During this month of May, let’s try to make a special effort to show our love for her by trying to say the Rosary well, with small children just a mystery or two. When we are tempted, go to her quickly. She is there to help us.

Father John Waiss is the pastor of St. Mary of the Angels Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is also a member of Opus Dei, the prelature founded by St. Josemaria Escriva.