My hands in Hers……..

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I have never shared this before, but Mary once granted me a very unexpected favor.  And although it happened about 15 years ago, it has only been during the past month that I have come to completely understand the message.

In my parish church, the statue of Our Lady of Grace stands in the back of what we affectionately call “Mary’s chapel.”  The chapel is to the left of the altar, and is one of the first seating areas to fill up before Mass.

On the day my son was baptized, I tenderly carried him, now graced by God’s Presence, to the feet of the One Gabriel once called Full of Grace.  Kneeling before the larger than life marble statue, I presented my infant son to Mary, asking her to take him as her own, to accept my consecration of him to herself.  My heart was bursting with joy, and I was so happy to give my son this gift of special protection by the Holy Mother of God.

My little boy’s early years were filled with visits to the Blessed Sacrament, learning to say the rosary, and stories of the Saints.  The only thing he wanted for his First Holy Communion was a “real bible” — which my sister, his godmother, joyfully gave him.  He would sit up in bed and read from it almost every night in those days, declaring the Sermon on the Mount to be his favorite chapter.

Yes, he was precocious; he was beautiful; he was talented, but he was also strong-willed and rebellious.

The beloved bible ended up in a drawer.  And one night when he didn’t come home from a highschool dance, a blue glass rosary cut into the palms of my hands.

He eventually came back to the house, but he never really came home again.

On the evening of his Confirmation, I was at the foot of Mary’s statue once more.  “Mother, I re-consecrate my son to you.  I don’t know what has gone wrong, but he needs your help.  Maybe I didn’t say the words right the first time.  Please hear me now, and accept him as your own.”

During the difficult years that followed, I would often attend the 6pm Mass.  It was very crowded,which enabled me to secure a standing spot, wedged between the candle stand and Mary’s statue.  Often I would place my hand on her foot or the hem of her garment.

I was grateful to be a short distance from those filling the pews.  Desperate, I  needed to be alone with God.

One night, a lady came and knelt before Mary shortly before Mass ended.  We were facing each other, and although she did not notice me, I was captivated by her eyes fixed on Mary’s face, and her lips moving silently in prayer.  She was obviously praying intensely about something.  I didn’t mean to intrude; it all happened so fast……

Then, as if watching a movie, I saw what I can only describe as a “copy” of Mary’s statue stepping out of the original statue.  This copy appeared more transparent than the original, but resembled it in every other way.  “Mary” came within reach of the prayerful woman and took her hands and held them in her own most pure hands.  The woman seemed not to notice anything.  Mary looked directly into the woman’s face, and appeared to be listening most attentively to her prayer, as though she were the only person in the world.

Within seconds, without my knowing how, the image was gone, and the woman got up from the kneeler.  I thought of stopping her and telling her what I had seen.  But I didn’t, and I have often regretted this.

As for me, I was struck by the obvious love and tenderness Our Lady showed to this woman pleading for her intercession.  I wondered how many times Mary had held my hands or embraced me — like the night I clung for dear life to my blue glass rosary.

Yet, throughout many painful years, I have often wondered why it seemed Mary had not rescued my son from so many poor choices.  I had given him to her when his soul was spotless and newly sealed with the Sacrament of Baptism.  Surely she could have surrounded him with angels, or kept him beneath her own mantle.  Had she not understood?

And I had trusted her completely.  So total was my trust when I presented my baby boy to her that all that happened in those later years was ever so much more painful, because it was so very unexpected.

My son is now a man, and he no longer wishes to rebel.  He is working hard to repair his life.  But sometimes, repercussions from the past still catch up with him.  This month has brought to light a few things I had not known before.

And this is the rest of the gift.  Mary has visited my heart in secret.  And she has reminded me of what I saw 15 years ago, and she has said,  “As you saw me take my daughter’s hands in prayer, do you not know that I also took your son into my own arms when you offered him to me?”

Why hadn’t I ever thought of it that way — my little son pressed to her Immaculate Heart, his tiny cheek kissed by those purest lips that kiss the Son of God?

She has made me understand that the crosses had to come.  But that I should not pray like one who has banished all dreams and asks but little for her son.  Rather, she has led me to pray that he will one day do great things for God.  And so I do pray this way now — so full of hope, and expectation, knowing that she has always been with him, and with me.

And I remember, when She didn’t understand, and when the way before Her was obscured and unknown, She found joy in Gabriel’s words, “….for nothing is impossible to God.”

And Mary shares these words with me and takes my hands……..

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17 thoughts on “My hands in Hers……..

  1. You’ll never know how much it means to me to read this.
    I’m too choked up now to tell..but I have suffered similarly to you.
    Thank you so very much dear friend, for this encouraging post!!
    God be praised!
    love in Jesus..Trish

    • Thank you, Trish, and please know that your comment was an answer to prayer for me. I posted my story very late last night, and this morning I had second thoughts…..perhaps I should not have shared quite so openly, or given so many details about my family’s struggles. But when I read your comment, I knew that sharing my story had helped at least one other person, and so I am very grateful to God and to Our Precious Mother for giving me the courage to do so.

      When I began my blog, I decided to keep it a secret from people who know me personally (except for my husband.) Even my sisters do not know I have a blog. Only a couple of carefully chosen friends know, and they are people who live in other places. This anonymity has been such a gift for me, especially with posts like this one.

      You are a real blessing to me, Trish. Thanks be to God for His Loving Faithfulness, His Mercy, His Eternal Love!

      In His Heart,
      Patricia

  2. Patricia, You have touched those tears I wrote about that the world can’t comfort. It has broken me in ways I have not been able to express. Your courage to write it makes us share what some of us thought we suffered alone. I will pray for your son….because unfortunately, I know how.
    May I ask your prayers as well ?

    Blessings and thanks for writing from your heart of hearts. +

    • Oh Caroline, of course I will pray for your intentions! And thank you so much for your prayers for my son.

      I am so grateful for your comment, for your understanding words. This was a post I deliberated about for weeks, praying for guidance, and for the strength to re-visit those unbearable years.

      I understand your brokenness and your tears. But your joy, peace, gentleness and love are unmistakable in your writings. And if one can be reduced to inexpressible pain, and yet still shine with those fruits of the Spirit, than surely God owns that soul and delights in her and will, in the end, give her all she has hoped for and much more besides.

      “Why are you cast down, my soul, why groan within me? Hope in God; I will praise Him still, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42

      God bless you, Caroline. I am most grateful to join our prayers together for our children. Thank you.

  3. Stunning. What a beautiful gift you were given. It was surely Our Lady’s way of letting you know she does the same for you when you pray to her.

    A few months ago, I stayed behind after Mass and observed a man, in obvious emotional distress, praying before a statue of the Blessed Mother. While he was praying and sobbing out loud at the same time, I saw him reach up and take hold of both of her extended hands. I had never seen anyone do that before, yet it looked like it brought the man so much comfort and it seemed so natural a gesture, though I would never have thought of it. To think Our Lady wishes to do the same for us.

    This also reminds me of what Therese wrote of Mary while she was in the throes of her illness. “Utterly exhausted, I asked her to take my head into her hands, that I might be able to bear it.” Therese was right – Mary is more mother than queen.

    I’m glad you shared this Patricia. And for the record, although I originally started my blog to to try to reach my spiritually wayward friends and relatives via Facebook, it didn’t quite work out that way. Very few people who know me personally know that I have a blog, and I think I like it that way.

    I have been praying for the sons of more than a few fellow bloggers and will continue to do so. Let us continue to place our trust in God through Mary and His saints.
    Joyce

    • Joyce, I love the quote you shared about Therese asking Our Lady to hold her head in Her hands during those long, painful nights. Therese has so much to teach us about how approachable Jesus and Mary are. If Jesus would give us His Precious Body and Blood to be our Food, then what is left to ask for? It will be wonderful someday in heaven to look back and see all the times we were held close and hugged and kissed by God and His Mother! I bet we will be so astonished.

      Thank you for sharing about your blog. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only “weird” person who keeps theirs a secret : ) I do think there is a definite advantage.

      I know that you have been praying for my son, and I am so grateful. Your children are in my prayers as well. I offered my holy hours today for the children of all my blog friends.

      Caroline pointed out, and it is so true, that one of the loveliest things about blogging are the wonderful friends you make along the way. Thanks for being a wise and encouraging voice in my life. I learn
      so much from you. May God continue to bless us on our “little way.”

  4. Oh my goodness! What an incredible experience and blessing! I too have prayed in front of the Mary statue in our church numerous times in desperation. Thanks for sharing this story. Next time I pray there, I will have the image of Mary reaching out her hands to me. I know your son will be o.k. – better than o.k.! He’s in very good hands!

    • Thank you, Dana, for your encouraging words. Yes, I believe my son will be okay. He has come a long way, but still has much to overcome. If only he would return to his Faith, I’m sure everything in his life would be used by God for good.

      So you too run to Mary in desperation? She’s such a wonderful Mother. I’m glad I finally shared my little story after all these years, because I hope others can find encouragement in Her most tender, motherly love.
      God bless you!

  5. Dearest Patricia,
    What a stunning and beautiful story, and like the other ladies, I needed to read this. The love and care our Blessed Mother has for all of herearthly children is breathtaking. I’ve found that when I pray to Mother Mary, leaving my worries at her feet, a sense of peace and help follows.
    I also watched my 14-year-old son struggle earlier this year with a six-week bout of depression and anxiety. He’s better, but he also has a way to go. I, like you, relired heavily on prayer, including saying the rosary and novenas. Ironically, also like you, my favorite rosary is a blue glass one.
    I promise to pray for you and your family, and please remember my family in your prayers.
    Your blog just drips with God’s love and love for neighbor.
    In Christ’s love,
    Gail

    • Dear Gail,
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about our Mother Mary, and also about your own dear son. I am so grateful that in writing this particular post, I was able to share something of what Mary has done for me, and how she surely does as much, and more for all of her children.
      I am so happy that your son is doing better. My son struggled with ADHD and depression at times as well. Thank you so much for your promise to pray for me and my family. I will surely pray for yours as well, and the lovely ladies who visit my blog are all praying for everyone’s children also. It is so good to pray together! I hope you will visit again. Please let me know if you have a blog. I would love to visit if you do.
      May Jesus and Mary bless you and yours!
      Patricia

  6. Patricia, it’s me again.
    I have decided to start a new blog, as I also have a need for some of the ‘anonymity’ you spoke about in your reply to my comment above.
    I hope you will visit me there 🙂
    Thank you for your kind words my friend..you are a true blessing to me too!
    love in Jesus..Trish @ Let Roses Fall..
    http://mrspa.blogspot.com/

    • I wanted to honor Our Lady by sharing what I had come to know of her great personal love and care for each one of us. And now you know how much I need your prayers, for my son. Thank you in advance : )

    • Nah…not spooky. Maybe God is trying to tell you something : ) I just can’t wait to see if you land here “mysteriously” again! Be sure to let me know.

      And….thanks for telling me about your other unplanned visits! God bless you always!

      Patricia

  7. Hi Patricia. Thank you for your beautiful story. While I read it for some reason I cried like I never cried before. I was looking for a picture of our Lady and I thought the one you had was especially beautiful so I read your story. Our Blessed mother touched me,today of that I have no doubt and I am so honoured.Thank you again & May you and your son be blessed. Amen X

    • Welcome, Eileen! Thank you so much for sharing how Our Lovely Mother touched your heart. How wonderful, and how like Her! She loves us so much; blessed are we!

      I wanted to share with you that my son is now married and he and his wife are expecting a baby in May. They have been going to Mass regularly for several months now. I am still in shock 😉 God is so faithful, and we just never know when those Graces we have prayed for are going to come pouring down. I rejoice with you that you were so blessed today! May our Blessed Mother always hold you close to Her Heart! God bless you!

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