Hello wonderful readers of Faith & Peanut Butter. My name is Chris O’Hara and I’m thrilled to be able to share a bit about my relationship with our Holy Mother Mary with you. It shouldn’t be to tough, as my relationship with Mary isn’t a complicated. It is merely one of simple, spiritual childhood.
To understand my humble confidence in Mary’s care, you have to understand what my prayer life was like a few years ago. Let me tell you, I was good at praying. I really was! I knew all the techniques, I had novenas up my sleeve for every occasion, and my library of prayer books was growing all the time. I was good at setting time aside for prayer too! I would stay up late into the night and I say my prayers until I met my self-prescribed daily requirement. Oh yea, I was good – or, at least I had convinced myself that I was. Was my prayer life-giving? Absolutely not. Was it tiring and frustrating? Big time. Despite the spiritual fatigue, I convinced myself to keep plugging away at it. For me, prayer wasn’t about an encounter; it was about procedure.
That is, until I had a big decision to discern in my life. I remember staying up late every night praying because I was looking for an answer from God, and when I didn’t receive one my resolution was “I will just have to pray harder”. It seemed almost pointless, as I wasn’t hearing from God and I had no clue which direction to go. What more could I do? A good friend then challenged me to let go of the burden I’d placed on my own shoulders, and trust Mary with my prayers. She, being the spouse of the Holy Spirit, knows God’s will better than anybody! My friend challenged my to give the situation completely to Mary, without reserve, and let her bring it to the Lord. “Doesn’t sound like much work” I said to myself, but I was running out of time and options, so I decided it was worth a shot. I prayed “Mary, you are God’s own Mother. You know His will completely and follow it perfectly. You know the fastest way to Him, so drag me, kicking and screaming if necessary, to Him.” There was no kicking and screaming involved. In fact, what I found was peace. I felt comforted, as if I knew everything would be all right. I had a conviction I was being looked after. I knew I could trust her. Miraculously, everything began to work out as soon as I unclenched my hands a bit and handed to situation over to Mary.
In the ancient world most King’s would have many wives, mostly for political reasons. Solomon had somewhere around 700 wives, for example. The Queen Mother, however, is the one with the most important role– the king only has one mother! Jesus truly is our King, and his mother is our Queen Mother. The role of the Queen Mother was to take the petitions of the people and bring them to the King. That is exactly what Mary does for us: She takes our petitions, our needs, and prayers and she brings them to the foot of the cross of our Lord, but not before she wraps them up and puts a beautiful bow on top and places them on a silver platter. She takes what we give her, and perfects it before presenting it to our Lord in a way he cannot refuse. She is the mother who, upon seeing her little child fall, rushes to care for them before bringing them to the Divine Physician who heals all our wounds.
So what do I give to Mary? Everything. Give her, whose will is already perfectly united to God’s, everything you have, including your very self. She absolutely is the fastest, easiest, and most sure way to know her son Jesus.
To use one more analogy, my days of diligently working my butt off trying to carve my big stony heart into the likeness of God are over. Why would I spend my days painstakingly chipping away at the stone in an attempt to create an imitation of Jesus, when I have a perfect mold available to me?! No way. Rather, I will choose to pour my whole life into the womb of Mary, the perfect mold for Jesus Christ. That is where Jesus chose to be formed, and that is where I will be formed.
You are my Mother,
Please take my hand
and tell me where to go,
who to see, and what to say.
Please don’t let go of my
hand, Mary Dear, because
I need you, and I’ll
always love you.
Chris is a 23-year-old Catholic man from Halifax who is passionate about music, the Toronto Maple Leafs, good beards, and Settlers of Catan. He strives to live a life of Holiness and Mission in the footsteps of a little French nun named Thérèse. After having graduated with a Bachelor in Music in Saxophone, Chris traded in the ocean for the prairies and now works as the Coordinator of Program Promotion for St. Therese School of Faith and Mission in Bruno, SK. (http://sttherese.ca)