On Holy Saturday’s Day of Recollection at CSC (April 11, 2009), I received a write-up on Mary, Mother of Jesus. This was right after we were asked to close our eyes and try to identify with someone who had been present at Jesus’ Passion and Death. I had identified myself with Peter – for with all his heart he had claimed to want to follow Jesus to death. But at the first test of faith, he failed because of fear, and denied Jesus. That was, and I am afraid, still is me.
But when they handed out random write-ups on different characters, the one I received was not Peter, but Mary. And it answered the burning questions that had been burdening my heart the past few days. For I had become weary and daunted at the suffering that following Christ entails.
The words that struck and comforted me were, “We can imagine that even if she had known all she would suffer as Jesus’ mother, Mary would still have given the same response. Are you, like Mary, available to be used by God?” Even more specifically, would I still say ‘yes’ to God even if I am daunted?
Can I submit myself to be the Lord’s servant, and surrender to his will and plans for me?
Can I put all my needs to Jesus like Mary did, and leave it to him to come up with the best solution?
Can I treasure all my experiences with Jesus in my heart?
God woke me up this morning with another thought about Mary, and it was this: Mary was worse off than me when she said, ‘yes’ to becoming an unwed mother. True, she was without sin and had no burden of a guilty conscience upon her, but she had plenty to fear.
I had at least Henry’s love and fidelity. Joseph had no reason to stay by Mary’s side as he knew the child was not his. If Joseph had abandoned Mary, she would truly have been lost, with noone to turn to. Not only would her family likely have forsaken her, she very likely would have lost her life as well.
God reminded me of the stark fear I had felt back then which had driven me to abortion. And he showed me that Mary had had even more to fear. This shows just how great her faith in God was. He did not show me this to make me feel bad about myself, but to encourage me. He loves me no less than he loves Mary! Can I believe that? Though Mary is most favoured because it is what God chose to do, he loves all mankind fully and completely.
God’s love for us cannot be understood by human understanding. God’s love, like him, is infinite and indivisible. He loves each of us completely, and with all his heart and mind and being. There is no comparison of love between his children, for to assess God’s love by the visible favours he bestows is wrong-minded and sadly mistaken. No, his love for each of us is complete and infinite.
Can I trust in this most perfect love of his? Can I believe that God loves me with all his heart and mind and soul?