Every morning, I sit in a corner of my living room and pray the rosary. Often my gaze turns towards my backyard. There, quietly and constantly, sits a statue of Our Lady (the one you see above). In season and out of season, she stands sentinel. Even this winter buried beneath several feet of snow, I knew she was there, and when the tip of her head finally emerged out from under the melting snow, an ear to ear smile filled my face.
There’s a certain something about the early morning light in the spring in New England – soft, damp, cool, warm, gentle, inviting – all at the same time. It has a flavor all its own. So this morning, this last day of May, the month dedicated to Our Lady, I looked out at her amid the flowers and the grass, and I thought about her role in our lives – how much it is like her presence in my backyard.
She just stands there quietly and unobtrusively. I can see her from my kitchen window every time I go to the sink. I give her a passing glance or a quick comment, or sometimes I stand and talk to her. All the windows in the back of the house provide an opportunity to touch base. Brushing my teeth, putting laundry in my daughter’s bedroom, eating dinner at the kitchen table, sitting on the deck, or opening the back door allow a glance and reminder of her always watching over us.
Consecration to Our Lady and prayer of the rosary make her our constant companion, even if we’re not quite aware. Over the years, I’ve said many times to different people, “I don’t know what it is, but something happens when you pray the rosary.” I think what happens is that we invite Mary to walk beside us, and she does so as a loving mother whose only desire is for us to know Jesus. “Do whatever he tells you,” she says to us (Jn 2:5). God desires for us to be with Him forever in heaven. Her will is perfectly aligned with His. Thus, she wants the same, and any way she can put her arm around us to keep us on the right path, she will do.
I remember washing my hands when I was kid, and I always had trouble locating a towel to dry them. My mom, however, usually had an apron on. Naturally, I dried my hands on her apron. It used to drive her crazy. She felt like a towel rack. (Of course, I didn’t get it when I was kid, but I get now!) Our Lady is like that. We can dry our hands on her apron because she’s right nearby. We can lean on her, talk with her, pray with her, laugh with her, cry with her, birth with her, and die with her. If we invite her in, she will be a wonderful part of life, a guidepost, a mother, and a friend.
So as May draws to a close, would you join me in praying the Memorare in thanksgiving to Our Lady:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to your protection, implored your help, and sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful! O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions; but in your clemency hear and answer me. Amen.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee! Anne