A Reflection For the Month of May: Inviting the Blessed Virgin Mary Into Our Hearts, Homes and Families
The month of May holds special significance for Catholics, as it is dedicated to honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary. As the spiritual mother of all Christians, our Blessed Mother holds a special place in the hearts of believers. She is considered the greatest of all mothers, having served as the mother of Jesus Christ and being chosen by God to play a critical role in the history of salvation.
During this month, Catholics are encouraged to honor and express gratitude to Our Lady for her role in our spiritual journey and Christian life. By inviting her into our hearts, homes, and families, we can draw closer to her glorious Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Blessed Mother provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the immense impact she has had on our faith and to deepen our relationship with her and with God.
Incidentally, the last day of May (31st) specifically commemorates the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. This is when the Blessed Mother uttered these words (excerpts from a Marian prayer known as the “Magnificat”), as inscribed in the Holy Scriptures from the Gospel of St. Luke: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.” When the Blessed Mother made these pronouncements, she had already agreed to be the mother of Jesus with total and perfect obedience and deep humility. Our Blessed Mother completely surrendered to the will of the Father to be the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, out of her strong faith and love for God and the world, despite the immense challenges she had to face and endure as a result.
How about those of us who are still struggling to be closer to God? Have we thought about this and asked ourselves these questions? Do our souls magnify the Lord, and do our spirits rejoice in God? Perhaps we can ponder on this and seek God’s help through the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
I remember one of my grandmothers, Mama Teresa, was a devoted follower of the Blessed Mother. She was very pious and would wake up early in the morning to attend the 5 a.m. Holy Mass. She was actively involved in Church activities, including being an officer of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) and a supporter of their parish. Mama Teresa encouraged her children to do the same and take part during important feast days of Our Lady.
When I was a child, I took a peek inside a tiny room in my grandmother’s house that seemed like a prayer room. At the center was an altar with a large crucifix, an image of Jesus carrying the Cross, and beside it was a life-size wooden statue of the Blessed Mother (Our Lady of the Holy Rosary) in an enclosed glass case. In front of the altar was a single prayer kneeler made of polished narra wood covered with a cushion and a riser. I can still vividly remember the scene as I was in awe of the beauty of the image of the Blessed Mother and her silk and velvety beaded clothes embellished with blue, silver, and goldwork thread embroideries and some rhinestones encrusted in it. I appreciate how my grandmother glorified God by making a special sacred space (allotting a small room and a time for prayer) for our Lord Jesus and His Blessed Mother in her humble home.
God’s greatest gift to us was when He sent our Lord Jesus to remind us of who we are and to save us from the bondage of sin. The Blessed Virgin Mary is always there to guide us and intercede in our prayers. She is our spiritual mother here on Earth. As a mother, she wants all of us to be safe from harm and evil, so we too can be with her in God’s Kingdom in Heaven and experience eternal life and happiness. Hence, the Word of God in the Scriptures always reminds us to do good things and be the best we can be. Being obedient to God’s commands is one piece of advice from our Blessed Mother in some of her apparitions that we need to heed. As much as possible, we should strive very hard to follow God’s rules. The Holy Spirit is always ready to assist us in fighting temptations that hinder us from being good. We just have to pray for this.
It’s unfortunate that a significant number of young people around the world are less religious than their elders. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, younger adults in the United States and Canada (or probably even in developing countries such as the Philippines), are less likely to identify with a religion or participate in any religious practices. This is not a good development. There are many factors that contribute to this trend, including changes in family dynamics and the pursuit of material wealth.
In today’s fast-paced world, people are often preoccupied with acquiring material possessions, working long hours to make ends meet or engage in businesses to accumulate wealth. While it’s not wrong to strive for material success, some people become consumed by it, and it takes over their lives. They believe that more money leads to greater happiness, but this is not always the case. In fact, the pursuit of wealth can lead to stress, anxiety, broken relationships, and a loss of focus on what truly matters in life.
We must recognize that wealth and material possessions are blessings, but they should be used wisely and not as a means of self-gratification. Unfortunately, some people prioritize their own desires over their responsibilities to others, including their family and community. When wealth becomes the sole focus of our lives, it hinders our ability to seek holiness and live a fulfilling life. It’s important to strike a balance between material and spiritual pursuits and to use our blessings in a way that benefits both ourselves and those around us.
We are still under the Easter Season of the Church Calendar. We still have a few more weeks to celebrate Easter and revel in the joy it brings. The Easter season invites us all to joyfully celebrate the new life in Jesus Christ. Living the spirit of Easter means having faith and joy, free from fear and with a renewed spiritual life, starting with a clean slate. As Catholics, the Holy Eucharist reminds us of the real presence of Jesus here on earth, dwelling in our hearts and in our minds. The Easter Season is the time where we are given the opportunity to go back to our Lord God and prepare to live as His true and faithful followers. And this is one way where we can magnify the Lord with Thanksgiving and render honor to God.
As Catholics, we ought to be joyful people. As the Holy Father stated, “Do not be men and women of sadness” since a “Christian can never be sad”. There is no reason for us to be sad because Jesus is in our midst. As Christians who have been blessed to spread the faith, we ought to show that gift of Easter joy and open our hearts to someone who wants to find hope and light in the cracks and crevices of life, especially the needs of the vulnerable, the poor, the marginalized, the sick and the abandoned.
May is an auspicious month for us Catholics and it is also an opportunity to create a sacred space for our Lord Jesus and His Mother, no matter how simple it may be. Whether it’s a small area or a table in the corner of our homes where we can say our daily prayers, it reminds us of our ultimate goal in life: to focus on God, to know, love, and serve Him above all else. Moreover, it gives us the opportunity to be with God at any time of the day, even after a hectic schedule that might prevent us from visiting a church or an adoration chapel.
Our sacred spaces in our homes serve as a place where we can deepen our relationship with God through personal prayer. It is where we can offer up our joys, works, and daily challenges, and most of all, magnify the Lord and express our gratitude to Him. Our Lord Jesus desires that we dedicate a little of our time to Him every day of our lives. As stated in St. Matthew’s Gospel, He instructs us to “go to our inner room, close the door and pray to our Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” St. Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church, once mentioned that even the simplest devotions we practice in honor of the glorious Virgin Mary are pleasing to her divine Son, and He rewards them with eternal glory. So, let’s create our own sacred spaces in our homes and make prayerfulness a daily habit. Let us commit ourselves to magnifying the Lord through our love and service to Christ and our neighbors especially those in need, and reciting the Magnificat, a complete and beautiful prayer, more often. In so doing, we can give glory to God and express our gratefulness to Him.
Our loving and generous God, grant us a pure heart and the grace to be able to imitate the virtues of the Blessed Mother so that we can glorify You, all the days of our lives. May others learn to embrace, venerate and honor her and seek her intercession to be near you. Amen.
Happy Mother’s Day Mama Mary, and to your Mom, St. Anne. Happy mother’s day to all the mothers throughout the world. God bless us all. Amen.