Mothers have a sensitivity and instincts that fathers often lack. Ima knew when I was hurting, she knew where I was hurting and she knew exactly what to do to take away the hurt. I knew she was proud of me; even if she did not say it in so many words. I loved bringing my friends home to show off my mother. She knew what to say, what to serve and what to do to make them feel at home even on their first visit and for them to want to visit again.
A mother’s heart is made to love. A father’s heart is made to create. A mother’s heart sees things that a father’s heart misses. Even as Mary pondered the things happening around her in her heart, seeing the hand of the Almighty; yet Joseph had his misgivings. Elizabeth was overjoyed at the gifts she and her cousin Mary have received from the Most High; yet Zechariah was baffles and struck dumb. Through all the unsettling events swirling around her, Mary remained our paragon of faith with her simple ‘Fiat’.
Marian devotion has always been a hallmark of Catholic spirituality. It is so strong and pervasive, our Christian brothers have often tagged our devotion to Mary as bordering on idolatry. She adds a dimension to our faith that otherwise would not be there. Pope Francis himself had spoken of the need to further develop a theology of the feminine. This is what our devotion to Mary teaches us.
In the Philippines, every region has a favorite image of Mother Mary. One of the things that moved me when we moved to the US is the powerful devotion of the Latino community to our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast day it is today.
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”