“In Mary’s Arms”, By Miranda Fitzpatrick, Fiat Ventures

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

My mom tells a story about a time when I was young and she found me crying on the staircase. I grew up with three older brothers and it had been a long day. One of my teenage brothers was fighting with my parents, and we had just watched a family movie together in which a teenager was moody and angsty. When my mom asked why I was crying I told her I didn’t ever want to be a teenager, that I would rather just love her and get along well with her forever. She laughed and tried to explain that not all teens have to fight with their parents and that we can stay friends instead.

Of course, that isn’t necessarily how things played out over the years.

Through our teenage years we are finding ourselves and defining ourselves. More often than not, it feels like parents can hinder that. It might feel like they are keeping us tethered when we yearn to be free and independent. Even after such a sweet and sincere meltdown as a kid, I still had disagreements and tension with my parents in my high school years. It is only natural.

Today as a Church we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. God’s whole plan of salvation, to save us from sin and give us everlasting life, was dependent on Mary saying yes to be the Mother of God. Mary’s yes was the first step in our story of redemption. It was through Jesus, the son of Mary and the son of God, that our sins were forgiven and we were granted eternal life in heaven. In his 2002 homily for today’s feast, Pope John Paul II said: “If Jesus is Life, Mary is the Mother of Life. If Jesus is Hope, Mary is the Mother of Hope. If Jesus is Peace, Mary is the Mother of Peace.” It all starts with Mary. Mary is the perfect mother.

Take a moment and call to mind what your own family life is like.
Maybe you get along really well with your parents – you all have dinner together around the table every night.
Maybe you feel like your family is broken – your parents are separated or divorced.
Maybe there is turmoil in your house – your parents are still together, but there is fighting all the time.
Maybe you feel like your parents don’t understand you.
Maybe you feel like they restrict you – they won’t let you get a new phone or get you brand name clothes. They won’t let you take the car out, or you have an early curfew, or they won’t let you stay overnight with your friends.
Maybe you feel connected to one parent but not the other – they travel for work, or they can’t make it to your games or shows, or they don’t ask you about school or life.
What is your relationship with your parents like? What do you wish it could be like?

The good news is, that even when family life is tough you always have a mother you can turn to. No matter your relationship with your earthly parents, Mary is our heavenly mother. When you get in an argument with your parents, or they ground you for something all your friends’ parents let them do, or you just want to scream that they don’t understand what it is like – turn to Mary. Mary is the mother of life, the mother of hope, the mother of peace. The perfect mother. You can tell her about your frustrations, and ask her by her prayers and her example, to help you grow in patience and forgiveness.

In my teenage years when I wasn’t getting along with my mom I would often imagine myself crawling into Mary’s lap. She would hold me close and rock me. She gave me all the comforts and security that I didn’t feel like I was getting otherwise. In the arms of Mary there is room for two, Jesus and you.

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