I often refer to Our Lady as “Mom”. One time, someone admonished me for using too familiar a term for someone who should be so revered. Indeed I do revere her, and she should be held in high esteem. But I think you can have both deep love and reverence and an intimate familiar relationship.
I honor and love her as the Mother of Jesus, the handmaid of the Lord, without whom we would still be waiting for the gates of heaven to open. But she is also my constant companion. Like my own natural mother, she has walked beside me as I’ve grown, taught me how to love and serve, and picked me up when I’ve fallen. So “Mom” she is.
Today is her birthday! So I thought of how we might celebrate her birthday like we would our own natural moms. Here are a few ideas:
1. Spend some time with her: Pray, especially the rosary. The Memorare is also one of my favorites. Aside from prayer, simply talk to her like you would your mom. Open your heart to her, sharing with her your joys and sorrows. Ask her to wrap you and all you hold dear in her mantle.
2. Invite her out for a meal: Of course, that would be the Mass, offering it in thanksgiving for Our Lady – for her yes, for Jesus, and for her intercession in our world and in our lives.
3. Bring her flowers: If you have a statue of Our Lady in your yard or home or in your parish, put some flowers out in front of her to note that today is different.
4. Make a cake, decorate it, and sing Happy Birthday: This would be a fun thing to do with your kids. Get them involved in the baking and making and enjoy the celebration. Be sure to use blue in your decorating.
Above all, just love her. Invite her into your life – into each moment of the day. Even when you’re not really aware of her presence, she is there – just like a mom.
Happy Birthday, Mom! XO