On December 8th, 2011, I completed a 33 Day Consecration Preparation For the Triumphant Victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On December 9th, 2013, understanding better the heart of my Blessed Mother became a reality. This is the story.
Since December 2011, when I roll out of bed, I fall to my knees, cross myself and consecrate that day to Mary to present as an offering to God. I ask her to guard my mind, mouth, and heart. When the day is begun thus, it is more productive, for it gets me up to pray the Rosary and read the scriptures and Catechism. Whether or not I rolled out of bed to my knees on Sunday 9 December 2013, I don’t remember; but I do remember that I better learned her heart.
At a soccer game that afternoon, my 5th child was in her position as “goalie.” Deahna dove for a save, but her opponent kicked her in the mouth thus breaking her jaw in two places and cracking molars. When I looked into my daughter’s mouth on the field, I thought all of her bottom teeth were gone, but that was because the right side of the lower jaw was up, the left side down, and all was covered in blood. By that night, Deahna’s mouth was wired shut for the necessary six weeks, and what ensued was a spiritual grasp of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
When we were on the way to the oral surgeon, I could only breathe, “Jesus I trust in you.” Her pain was beyond comprehension. During the first week, she couldn’t eat, dropped 10 pounds, and broke out in hives from the medications. Every day was another medical crisis.
During that first week too, I ended up in the emergency room with what I thought was a strep throat, probably due to stress. While coming into the ER, I saw a young boy screaming. The child was placed in the curtained ER space beside me, and I could hear his mother lovingly stroke his left hand as the doctor put in the needed sutures in his right hand which his brother had accidentally shut in the car door. I prayed for the child, and also asked God to help me better understand our Blessed Mother’s heart, something on which I had been pondering.
Suddenly it all became clear: the scripture in Luke 2:19 “But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” On that soccer field, I hadn’t guarded my mouth or pondered anything. I had screamed at the opposing team and the referee. Yet too, I had felt the piercing of my heart just as Simeon had said to Mary, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2: 34-35.
When Jesus was nailed to the cross, Mary was there beside him: all the disciples had fled except John. Mary watched her Son die, and she could not even reach out to comfort Him. She couldn’t hold his hand as that ER mother had done. She could only watch Him bleed to death, be mocked, deserted and pierced. And in that time, she heard her Son say, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Could I forgive the girl who had so horribly injured my daughter? Could I accept this was part of God’s plan for us? Could I ponder in my heart versus curse with my lips? Could I watch suffering, feel the stabbing of my heart, and know that Mary’s Immaculate Heart had likewise been pierced: penetrated by a pain she couldn’t remedy? All she could do was ponder and keep silent. I too, in that ER, understood her a bit better. I couldn’t help my child’s pain any more than Mary could. I could only watch Deahna suffer, but as Mary, I could have hope. I could pray. I could better understand Mother Theresa’s “Dark Night of the Soul,” as a time of watching intense suffering and being able to do basically nothing to relieve it. But as my Blessed Mother, I could cling more closely to, “Jesus I trust in You.”