As a convert from evangelical Protestantism, it feels presumptuous to think I have great insight to share with life-long Catholics about the Blessed Virgin Mary. I grew up in a Protestant preacher’s home. We had two images of Mary. The first was a figurine that came with our Nativity set, the second a ceramic Madonna my sister painted in art class which she gave to my father for Christmas. When he opened it, Mom laughed and said it looked Catholic, but Dad kept it on his office shelf anyway. That was the last time anyone in my family did anything to highlight Mary’s place in the lives of believers – until I converted.
Catholics have taught me many things about the Blessed Mother – things I never learned growing up Protestant. There is something beautiful about planting flowers in my Mary garden as I say a prayer.
There is a quiet strength to be gained when I pause to touch the image of Mary on my mantle… to light the candle at her feet… to entrust my cares to her.
There is an inexpressible joy, a balm that heals and peace within when I reach for my Miraculous Medal. Sometimes, I reach for it almost mindlessly, but that subconscious habit becomes a deliberate act of faith countless times each day.
In these moments, I know that Jesus Christ loves me so much that He shared His own hand-picked Mother with me. And He has chosen you – His Church – as the means by which I discover the Holy Mother of God. I remember these things each May. I ponder them at every May Crowning. I think of them when I reach for my rosary. I have a Mother because of Christ and His beautiful Church.
And so I say thank you even as I continue watching you – my brothers and sisters in the faith – that I might learn even more.