Mary takes my hands in hers…..

I often think of August as a “Mary month,” since we celebrate the beautiful feasts of her Assumption and her Queenship this month.  In Our Lady’s honor, I will be re-visiting a few posts dedicated to her, most which were written a couple of years ago.

Of Mary, there is never enough.  St. Bernardourladyofgrace

I have never shared this before, but Mary once granted me an 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 those words with me and takes my hands……..

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27 thoughts on “Mary takes my hands in hers…..

  1. This is so lovely, Patricia, and so encouraging. I can only imagine how exciting it was to recieve such a beautiful vision and, then, the reassurance, later. Thank you for sharing Our Lady’s love with us – I now have an image in my mind which is full of love and hope:)

    God bless, Patricia:)

    • Thank you, Vicky. I think more than excited, I was astonished. It was almost like having a dream while you are awake. But very brief. The deep impression I took away from this is that Our Mother is much more involved in our lives than we realize. She’s a real mother, and when we call on her, she immediately listens attentively and with great compassion and interest. She drew near to the woman who was praying. She stoops to us. We are so blessed! Thank you so much for visiting and commenting, dear Vicky! God bless you too!

  2. Oh…Patricia…this really touched my soul. You have brought me much consolation in regards to my own children, especially my oldest who will be 24 this week. So many bad choices and so many days of blaming myself.

    It took a long time…still struggling…to realize that God writes straight with crooked lines. Not so perfect children do not mean that I am a bad parent…yes…there were mistakes…but God created them with free will and when they get to a certain age…they have to choose themselves.

    One image I keep in mind during prayers is Mary’s mantle wrapped around my children…especially my oldest. It’s like I know she will not let him go no matter how much he is kicking and fighting…like a mother calming her child during a tantrum : )

    Thanks SO MUCH for sharing this story.

    • Oh Theresa, HUGS to you. I’ve been there too…struggling, wondering what I/we did wrong. If only….. But, as you said, they make their own choices. We love them and do the best we can. Thank goodness God does write miracles with those crooked lines. We hear of such transformations all the time. I’m so grateful to God that you were consoled by my little experience. I was so desperate at the time that I think Our Lady wanted me to realize how very much she cares, and how deeply she is involved in each of our lives. Each of us is that woman who knelt before her in prayer. I often recall the dream St. Therese related in her autobiography. It was about seeing the foundress of the Lisieux Carmel (as I recall). This was a nun whom Therese never thought about and didn’t even pray to. Yet, she came to Therese in a very consoling dream. Therese concluded from this that those in Heaven love us and are so much more concerned about our affairs than we could ever imagine. I’m sure that Mary is “swaddling” your children in her mantle, just as you ask. Oh…isn’t heaven much closer than we think?! Bless you Theresa xo

  3. This is so beautiful Patricia. I wonder how many times Mother Mary has done this same act to those of us that knee, with broken hearts, before her and plead for her intercession.
    There have been many times that I have knelt before her, filled with useless anxiety, and have left filled with peace and strength. Maybe she held my hands too.
    The gift you received on that day, though for your eyes only, was a gift for us to ponder when we look to her in our moments of need.

    Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

    • Dear Lisa…I feel sure that as Mary listened so lovingly to that woman, and drew near and held her hands, surely she does the same with us. She is truly our Mother, and she’s the BEST of all mothers. I think one day we will be very surprised at all of the love and affection she lavished upon us when we called upon her for help….and even when we didn’t ask, her compassion alone drew her to us. Remember what Therese said: Mary is more Mother than Queen. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. You love Our Mother so much…it’s all over your blog! 🙂 God bless you, Lisa.

  4. Oh Patricia! Such a beautiful, consoling post!
    I’m so happy you shared this with us. I look around the world today and get so discouraged at times – posts like these are a great reminder of the depth of Our Lady’s love for us. I guess most people these days have some worries about their children because the youth today are attacked on every side (and my heart goes out to them). I think God will step into their lives in a special way soon, after all He loves them more than we do 🙂

    I hope you are well, my friend!

    • Hi Mary! I shared this two years ago, but nobody was reading my blog then, so I thought I’d share it again 🙂 Yes, I think almost everyone is worried about their children, and the effect of our culture on them these days. I can’t imagine having any peace in these times, without trust in God and His Goodness. The older I get, the more I realize how very real and intimate is the love of Jesus and Mary, as well as the angels ands Saints, for us. I just love the verse where Jesus says the very hairs of our heads are numbered. And in the Song of Songs, there is a line about a single stand of hair again! How much more can God express His loving obsession with us! And Mary…if we love our children, what must her love be! Blessed are we, surrounded by so much LOVE!

      I hope you are well, my friend!
      Not exactly, and I bet you know! 🙂 Love you, Mary! xoxo

    • Amanda, thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting. I remember you from CSBN. I read something you wrote and thought we had a lot in commmon. St. Therese? I look forward to visiting your blog tomorrow. It’s after midnight at the moment 🙂 God bless you, Amanda Rose!

  5. Patricia, how blessed you have been to see Mary take the other woman’s hands into her own, to see in a visual way how she really does respond even though we may not sense it. And she was carrying your son in her arms the whole time and holding your hand along the way! How wise you were to consecrate your child to Mary! Thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony!

    • Hi Monica..thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I had read about several parents of Saints consecrating their children to Mary, so that’s where I got the idea. I thought I would be raising a little angel! 🙂 But, it didn’t turn out that way. Yet, when our prayers aren’t answered as we expected, it really is an invitation to trust all the more. Jesus and Mary are so close to each of us, don’t you think? What I saw was not truly Our Blessed Lady, but more like her statue suddenly becoming animated and demonstrating what I believe is how Mary receives us whenever we come to pray. If I had actually seen her, I’m sure I would have fallen on my face! I instinctively knew this was something else..much less profound. Yet, a great blessing all the same. Thanks Monica for your friendship. I am so enjoying getting to know you! xo

      • Well, all the same, I am pretty sure that Our Lady was allowing all of this to happen for your benefit. A statue of Jesus became animated for Mother Angelica and so you are in great company! So very happy to be getting to know you and all of our mutual friends! It is such a comfort and special joy to have true kinds of friendships in Christ. I love it when my friends share these wonderful moments in their lives.

        • Monica, welcome back! 🙂 I definitely agree that Our Lady was granting me a beautiful favor to teach me how much she really listens and really cares…with a mother’s heart. I didn’t know about Mother Angelica’s experience with a statue of Jesus. Maybe you could tell me sometime. I know she has had actual visions of angels…especially St. Michael. I really think she will be a Saint one day.

          Oh Monica, I feel just as you do about our wonderful blogging friends. In my daily life, I don’t have friends like you and Mary and Nancy, etc. I think we are all clustered here and able to find each other because of our desire to blog about our faith. I think of all of you and pray for each of you so often. I tell Jssus that you really are friends to me. You are sort of like my little saints on earth…I can’t see you or hear your voices, but we can “talk” back and forth, and sometimes share pictures. And I know that I can always ask for prayers or advice, etc., and everyone here will be more than willing to help. What a wonderful gift all of your are! Thanks, Monica, for reminding me.
          I’m going to e-mail you about those CD’s. I’d be happy to send you some, if you would enjoy listening. The priests of Father Basil’s Order are so amazing! Just love them. God bless you, Monica! xoxo

  6. Oh Patricia, how beautiful and moving. You were given an extraordinary gift, and how kind of God to have you in a position (here!) where you can share the vision you were given. I am so moved. With a prayer for your son, and your family, and with thanks to God and our Blessed Holy Mother…

    • Nancy, thank you so much for your prayers for our family, and especially my son. He is so busy trying to make up for lost time.
      Yes, God is so good! He always knows just what we need. This was a re-post, but while working with it, I was thinking of what you shared last weekend about that sense of Jesus looking at you and smiling and telling you those amazing words. That was so consoling and encouraging to me. And, it made me smile all day..wishing I could have seen your face 🙂 The first time I posted this, I hesitated to share something so personal, but then the comments were very encouraging. I think sharing among ourselves like this, we can extend our blessings to one another.
      And, you are always a blessing to me! Love and hugs, Natalie 🙂 PS Do you think we stay up too late?

  7. Patricia,

    Thank you for sharing this story with us. I will always remember the image of Mary taking the woman’s hands, and I will remember how close she is to each of us.

    At the moment I am spending time each day meditating upon Mary and the role she has in our lives, as I reconsecrate myself to Jesus through her. She really is our mother. I have been thinking a lot about how we assume Mary has forgotten about us, just because we have forgotten about her or have lost confidence in her ability to look after us. It’s not like that at all.

    “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.” Patricia, this is so beautiful. This gives me hope.

    God bless!

    • Sue, how beautiful that you are spending time meditating on Mary each day. I need to follow your example. I know exactly what you mean about how we forget about her…how close to us she really is, or forget how dearly she loves each one of us. It is so good to take time and re-focus on what it must mean that the Mother of God is our Mother too.

      Sue, I’m thinking of you, and how you never, ever forget Thomas. I love seeing his picture on your blog, and little drawings of him always included in your children’s artwork. A mother’s love never ends. We can be so very sure that Mary is indeed holding our hands. I’m so glad you found some hope in my little sharing. God bless you too! xo

  8. Would you believe that I typed this out early this morning?

    After reading a good post on “I Want to See God” about our “ruling grace” or what I understood as the way that we pray best, I commented on how, at least at this time in my life, offering up physical pain is the best way for me.

    That night, I suffered a “mysterious” pain that radiated across my chest. At one point, I had to curl up at the end of the bed. A migraine was also starting it’s ugly descent. I wondered who in the world needed all of this sacrifice!! It even dawned on me the next day that it might just be ME ~ at least in part. (nah, can’t be) I had seen the fruits of suffering before and knew that God would do “BIG” things with this one!

    During this time of extreme discomfort, I was recollected to Christ and given the grace to “Enter into the mystery of the cross.” and it was those words that I felt our Lord speak to my heart. I was a willing victim (I usually flee suffering as much as possible) and the state I was in is hard to put into words. I had tunnel vision.

    The next night, I pondered the fact that My Very Blessed Mother must have been right there by my side, since she never left the foot of the cross, right?

    I asked myself why I didn’t notice her there at the time, or why I didn’t feel her comforting hand caress my face or maybe my hair?

    Then I thought of how she literally couldn’t reach her son during his excruciating passion. Oh, how she must have suffered there ~ unable to physically sooth her only son. I thought of how hard it is to watch some of my children who have rejected the grace available to them and not be able to “fix” it with a bandaid or some other simple means of comfort. I know that prayer and example are the most powerful way that I can assist them at this time in their life. They simply have to live their “own” life and make their “own” mistakes. It is good for them.

    There on the cross in complete union with my dear Friend, Brother, Father, Counselor, Healer, Teacher, Life Itself, His mother was indeed there. She had my back in prayer and tender compassion in her heart for me. She never left me ~ in fact, she was probably the one who lead me there in the first place. I place my confidence in her leading my children back there too. Amen.

    • Michelle, I posted your comment because it is so beautiful that I thought others would benefit from reading it. I know I have. Thank you! I hope you don’t mind if I respond to it by e-mail. I’ll write very soon….am busy all tomorrow afternoon with my OCDS meeting. Thank you so much for returning, and sharing these beautiful insights. God bless you….and hope you get some sleep!

  9. Patricia, You gave us one of your many beautiful “pearls” ..Such a treasure of grace you were blessed with. And you comfort me still because those sorrows encountered with my own children still weigh on me. They almost broke me..But now a new life has been given to us and I will remember your story. I have consecrated him to her Immaculate Heart and I will hold onto the hope of her love and intercession.
    Thank you for blessing us with this.It has brand new meaning for me . I pray every day for our children.
    Love and blessings always +

    • Caroline, I remember your last comment on this post, when it first appeared about 2 years ago. Here we are still praying! We should soon be catching up with St. Monica 🙂 I will pray for your family at adoration today.

      I see growth in my son. He’s at least open and not sarcastic when I mention God or prayer. I think being married and planning on a family is affecting him. Like you wrote in your “baby love” post. Everyone says that having children can really help their parents rethink their Faith.

      Father Donald Calloway has a new books (sorry, here we go again….gluttons!) but it’s about Mary and called “Under the Mantle.” I heard him interviewed, and the book sounds wonderful. It has over a 100 5 star reviews on Amazon! He explained that often the more mothers love God and move close to HIM, often the more the evil one will try to get to them through their children. I see this with so many of my friends as well. But, I know Our Lady will protect them in the end.

      So lovely that you consecrated chubby cheeks 🙂 to her. I have no doubt that in Heaven we will see the fruits of entrusting our children to her Immaculate Heart..even though on earth, at times things may seem very dark. I am saying more rosaries these days, because she asks us to.

      So glad you read the post again…and were so kind to leave another comment.

      Your grandson is so blessed to have you! Love and hugs……

  10. That was a beautiful story.Thank you for sharing it. I will believe it is a true story, because in the face of such scepticism and scoffers as surround us even in the church, I do believe. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Mary Ann. Thank you so much for commenting. Yes, it is a true story. But as I tried to express to others in responding to their comments, it was in no way an apparition of Mary. She didn’t even look at me. I think that Our Lord allowed me to see a little miracle expressed through Mary’s statue which would impress upon my heart how much Our Heavenly Mother loves us, and how concerned she is for us and how intently she listens to our prayers. Also, how she draws near to us when we call upon her. I’m so happy you were blessed by this little story. My prayer is that everyone who reads it will realize how close Our Mother really is to us….always. God bless you!

  11. Our Mother is smiling down on you for writing this experience and sharing it with all of us–for expressing so eloquently her love for us. How incredibly beautiful to have been given this gesture of hers. I will pray for your son and you and your family. And the most intensely resistant souls can and often are the most on fire for our Lord when they turn back towards Him and realize His love. Hope is eternal and realistic. Our Lord and Mother have never stopped holding your son. Thank you for sharing your beautiful soul with us. I look forward to returning…

    • Cynthia, thank you so very much for your prayers for my son and our family. He needs prayers right now. He was returning to school, but the university lost all of his paperwork which was to be reviewed for student loans. He is quite upset about it, and not sure what he will do now. It’s a long story,, but your prayers are MUCH appreciated. I agree with you thatt sometimes the most reistant souls can often come around to being those most on fire for the Lord. We have plenty of Saints to remind us of that. I’m reading Father Donald Calloway’s latest book, Under the Mantle, and if you know his story…he’s one of those souls. This book is all about Our Lady, and his love for her just pours through the pages. It’s beautifully written. But, he was a terror about 20 years ago! We can’t hope for too much from so good a God, and our Blessed Mother, can we? Thanks for hoping and praying with me, Cynthia. That means so much.

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