As I was trying to fall asleep last night, I started talking to Jesus, telling Him about my bodily woes of that moment, asking Him to take it away if that was His will. I felt like He was telling me “You hurt now, yes, but there will be a day where You are with Me and no longer feel pain. Worry not about your body and continue to focus on your soul.” Then, I imagined this scene in Heaven at that very moment. Mary came in almost reprimanding Jesus, as a mother often would, telling Him, “Jesus! Yes, I know You care most about her soul and so do I, but look at how she is hurting! She is in pain right now! Help her.” God’s word is always final, of course, but the persistence of the mother’s request is just as effective in the plans of God as it is in the families here on earth.
I started thinking about the roles of the mother and father of a family. The father is the head of the family. His decision is final, but just look at how much your mother can sway his decision. I remember when I was sixteen. Every single one of my friends at school had a cell phone. I didn’t, and it left me feeling embarrassed and out of the loop with my classmates. Looking back on it now, it really wasn’t that big of a deal, but at the time, my mother was compassionate toward my humiliation in those present moments. She stepped in as my advocate to my father, who did not believe it was time for me to get a cell phone. Within a couple months, you know I had myself a cell phone.
I also reflected on how the father can often see the whole picture better than a mother. My husband has the ability to discipline our children and see that sometimes they will need to be left to cry in order to learn an important lesson in the end. All the while, some systemic alert is going off in my body, crying “Alert! Alert! Your child NEEDS you, NOWWWW! WASTE NO TIME. GO HELP HER!!” Of course, I agree with my husband that my daughter needs to stay in time-out a bit longer in order to learn an important lesson, but that does not take away my nature to be compassionate or remove my strong desire to nurture the children in the present moment.
We have the perfect example of this at the Wedding Feast in Cana (John 2:1-12). Mary, seeing the current pain and humiliation of the family running out of wine, goes straight to her Son, who she knows to be the Messiah with power to change all circumstances, and asks Him to save them from the humiliation. Jesus acts as if this is no matter to Him. He is God after all, and His thoughts transcend ours. He is able to look at the whole picture. He can see a situation of turmoil in the present moment, yet still see the past and future of the circumstance simultaneously. He already sees how He has brought about good through their current pain. The rest of us humans, including Mary at that time, are not able to see things in such a way without God revealing it to us. However, it was also His will to establish the role of His mother that day, her role as an intercessor for us in times of pain. This was the second time that the action of His mother brought forth the will of the Divine. The first was her Magnificat, the "yes" that was required to bring Jesus into the world. And now her action at the Wedding Feast in Cana brought about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth. God intended for His mother’s requests to be effective in His Divine Will. Her immediate actions toward our pain, her persistence in prayer, and the grace God gifted her all play a huge role in the Father’s will for us. Yes, Jesus sees and feels our pain as Mary does, but He is the advocate of eternity - past, present, and future. He has chosen His mother to be the advocate of the now, to always share in our present pain. Often, it is through Mary that God is with us. It is often through Mary’s intercession that God finally responds to the requests of our hearts.
This is why Mary appeared to the children in Fatima. Realizing the pain of the world, she came to warn and she came to lead us to peace. Before Jesus entered into the world, He used prophets to send us this message just the same. When you realize that it is the will of the Father to use the Mother to offer His love, grace, mercy, peace, hope, and graces to us, it’s not so hard to ask her for help. As Saint Louis Marie de Montfort once said, “We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.” And as Saint Maximilian Kolbe said, “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”