MY LIFE LONG RELATIONSHIP WITH MARY
When I was asked to write about my relationship with Mary in the Charismatic Renewal I wondered how I could do justice to her presence in my life with words. I write this from my heart as my parents taught me with words and action, from little on, God’s plan for Mary, the Mother of God, in my life. She would take me to Jesus by guiding me and praying with and for me.
Unlike Eve, who fell to the sin of pride, Mary was satisfied and happy to be the Lord’s handmaid, His humble servant. Mary’s only desire was, “Let it be done to me according to Your will.” Mary didn’t exalt herself but exulted in the Lord and what the Lord did for her and for all of us.
The rosary and Perpetual Help devotions were a part of my life as long as I can remember. Len and I began praying the rosary together shortly after we started dating. The spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mary, prompted Len to propose to me while we were kneeling at the Shrine to Our Lady of Fatima in Milwaukee. In 1996 we were blessed to be on a pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal where we renewed our wedding vows. The rosary remains a part of our prayer lives to this day.
When we were married and the patter of little feet were heard we purchased a picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I prayed to her often asking for her intercession on our four son’s behalf, especially in their teenage years.
In May of 1986 Len and I joined a group who were praying fifteen decades of the rosary each Tues. during May. When May ended Len suggested that we continued to meet each Tuesday, which we did. Several of the ladies began talking to us about the wondrous things God was doing in the world today, like healing Masses (we had never heard of them), weeks of renewal and prayer groups. In January of 1987 one of them told us about a healing Mass that would be at Precious Blood Parish in Stephenson MI that coming Thursday. They asked us to go to it. Because of his job, Len was not able to go but I went with anticipation and anxiety. With the songs of praise and prayers I felt I was as close to heaven as possible on the earth. I had never experienced a Mass like that.
At the end of the Mass they announced they were starting a Seminar on the Holy Spirit the following Monday evening. On the way home we discussed this and decided those seven Mondays would be on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and decided to come, at least for the first session. We prayed the rosary driving to and from the seminar that Monday, begging Mary’s protection if this was not of her Son.
Again, because of his job Len was unable to come. After the first week I knew I was coming back and studied the lesson thoroughly, and yes, I peeked ahead. I was well hooked by the Shepherd’s staff! Len came with me the second week and we shared the seminar together.
The usual week for the Baptism in the Spirit found Len and I in Florida at a funeral of a lady especially dear to our hearts.
Our Baptism in the Spirit took place the sixth week of the seminar. That night was full of anticipation but I told the Lord that there were a couple gifts I did not want. They were the gift of healing and the gift of tongues. There were five or six of us being prayed over and Len and I were the last two. While the second person was being prayed over the Lord put a desire in my heart for all the gifts He wanted me to have. I prayed that He would forgive me for saying I didn’t want them. I received the gift of tongues while the person next to me was being prayed over. It was a glorious night as the love of Jesus enveloped me in tears and joy.
The next morning I went to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I adored and praised Jesus as never before. After Mass I went home but found myself drawn powerfully to return to church, which I did. I praised Jesus in words, song, kneeling, standing and raising my arms. At one point I sensed I should be quiet. I just sat there wondering why no more praise, prayer or song . Then I heard in my heart, “Don’t forget my mother, don’t forget my mother!” I responded, “I know you now Jesus, your mother led me to you.” There was silence as I pondered whether this brief exchange was real. This certainly had never happened to me before. I then realized that it was real and Jesus was telling me He still wanted me to pray to and with His mother whether in praise, thanksgiving, or petition.
Mary continues to pray for me, as she does for all, and with me in praise, thanksgiving and petition. She continues to be an important part of my prayer life.
She is the Promised Woman who magnifies and exalts the Lord for and with us.
From the Diocese of Marquette Michigan, U.P. Catholic Charismatic Newsletter (Summer, 2004)