May is upon us and it is the month of honoring the Blessed Mother Mary. She is the Mother of all of us. So many times in the past I have called upon her name pleading to her to wipe the tears away from my eyes. She covers us all with the mantle of her love and protection. She quells my heartbreak and helps sustains me in my motherhood.
There is a great earthquake of a heart and soul when a mother loses a son by being sent to prison. The separation between mother and son can be imposed by an “unjust-justice” system
There is a earth shattering heartbreak that enters ones entire life when our beloved children are sent to prison.
In some ways the entire family becomes imprisoned too. Separated from their loving but helpless loved ones. As a mother, I was set out to walk on a rough and winding road feeling lost, abandoned and hopeless. In my heart I felt like my son going to prison was a death not in body but in spirit.
For as long as a loved one is in prison we too are incarcerated in our hearts, minds and souls for those who love one another are all in prison together. Yet at the same time they are also on a pilgrimage. Praying unceasingly for our loved ones, hating the sin and not the sinner.
Being imprisoned, even though the sight and touch of our loved ones is missing for prolonged periods of time and often visiting relatives who are in prison have many obstacles to overcome in thier attempt to visit.
Our loved ones who are incarcerated many times are often, inexplicably sent hundred miles a way away from the comfort and love of family. The road then becomes longer and more cumbersome for us all. As we take this long journey we hit bumps and impediments along the way. I then look to Mary and say “Lead me to your ways. Help me to be just like you.”
During this somber journey, families who go to visit a loved one in prison may find that they too, are treated indignantly while visiting. Fearful of what they do not know, hurting inside and shattered like broken glass.
During those times I looked to The Blessed Mother and asked, “Mary, how did you do it? Mary, did you know all the suffering and pain He would endure? Allow me to feel what you felt and at the same time fill me with the grace and humility that makes you so special.
Yet even in this heartbreak the soul is the one who loves and loves and loves, without waning. Love endures for ever.
I only have to look to our Blessed Mother to know the joy and understanding that she can bring to my heart. Our Lady is ever present. Her soul longing to lead all of us to Christ. Filled with love that is endless for she gives comfort and remains near us forever just like the souls who vow to visit their loved ones in prison.
Our Lady is the leader in this. She is Co-Redemptrix giving all her support, leading us to Christ, lending us her ear to listen and to protect us with her mantle of love and protection. She offers her medicine of love and understanding when are hurt. What earthly mother would not do the same?
And so Dear Mother Mary I think of you and the beautiful song,
‘On This Day, O Beautiful Mother”
On this day, O beautiful Mother,
On this day we give thee our love.
Near the, Madonna, fondly we hover,
Trusting thy gentle care to prove.
On this day we ask to share,
Dearest Mother, thy sweet care;
Aid us ere our feet astray
Waner from thy guiding way.
Indeed it is Our Lady who more than understands what it is to see her love one, her Child beaten down, whipped, tortured, judged harshly and harmed. Yet, Blessed Mother Mary always stayed at His side, at the foot of the cross and at the tomb. Through it all like mothers and fathers of prisoners across the world, like children of parents in prison across the world, like the brothers, sister, friends of those “held-away” Blessed Mother Mary remained at the side of her suffering loved One, too.
Blessed Mother stands beside all held captive and in prison. Mama Mary is here to calm the heart so that we all can proceed on our pilgramage with increased strength and faith.
And as my journey takes me to a path towards faith, hope and trust dear, Mother Mary, I am thankful for your ever presence in all of our lives.