What mother does not suffer along with their child or children at every step of the way? The maternal bond with the child is life-long, starting from the moment of conception. That bond cannot be severed by anyone, or anything. It is part of God's Perfect Plan. It does not mean that the mother ties the child or children to her apron strings (does any mother wear an apron anymore?) keeping that child close to her even when the child becomes older. Certainly, any mother cannot do that in good conscience, recognizing that the child, a gift from God, must lead their own life as God has planned, for that is the fullness and richness of God's loving tenderness toward all His people.
Still, the mother has that "intuitive" bond with the child that surpasses all rational explanation, and often baffles the father, the husband. However, as wife, mother, and a woman, I can only write about suffering from that perspective. To do more would be ridiculous; to do less would be an insult to God.
My husband and I remember quite vividly the bright, happy child who was born to us over fifteen years ago. We have always considered both of our sons "miracle" babies, because we lost two children, both in the first trimester, prior to having our sons. When the miscarriages occurred, we were saddened, particularly when the doctors informed me (us) that I would most likely never be able to carry a child to term. Well, God had other plans. Even then, even before our conversion of heart through Medjugorje, my husband and I believed that if God intended us to have children (whom we truly wanted) then He would work things out.
Our oldest son was born bright, happy, and healthy in every way. His development was normal. He was so full of awe and wonder and curiosity for all that the world held for him. He was unafraid of the world, never meeting a stranger, always exploring, racing ahead to another adventure, tackling the tasks of walking and running (he preferred not to crawl), and then onward to the continual tasks that he mastered one by one as he grew from infant to toddler, to child, and now to adolescent.
Now, because of his illness, he does not remember any of the "good" memories of his early childhood. He can see these times, or at least some of them, on the video tapes we took (we were heavily into video taping just about everything in the lives of our children until God saw fit to have the camera stolen so we'd concentrate more on Him, and less on our archives of past memories). Still, he'll watch these, and then he'll cry, because he can't relate to them. He sees it, but it's not him. The "him" that he knows is a person who has become lost not only to himself, but also to God, and to us. He hangs onto hope by a thin thread that, for now, exists in his mind because of the medication, not because he can tangibly see, feel or believe in God, and the Infinite Love of his creator, nor the unconditional love of his parents and younger brother.
Like any other mother out there, I, too, had dreams and hopes for my sons. For my oldest, I looked forward to that time when a certain amount of independence would be his. I looked forward to his high school years, which I suppose in retrospect, I naively envisioned as a version of "Happy Days", with all the fun of sports, dating at the appropriate age, driving, and working toward full independence.
The reality is that these things will not be. My son will not know the normalcy of his teenage years. Instead, because of abuse suffered at the hands of so-called "Christian" people who emotionally and psychologically abused him, because of an accident when he cracked the back of his head against a rock, because of being given an antibiotic which, we now know, caused the chemical balance of his mind to go awry, he will miss the joy that should be there, and instead, suffer in his dark, black world that sees no light and doesn't believe there is hope anymore.
No hope! Ah, to hear him say this. To see in his eyes that it is reality for him. To reach out to him, to try to encourage him, and to hold him in my arms and rock him as I did when he was a baby! Words are difficult to find to express the overwhelming range of emotions that hit me full force at these times.
There are no words I can offer my son, for he does not hear them. When, after he has cried himself into a calmer frame of being, I retire to my room where I fall upon my knees and pray. There are times when the rosary beads find their way through my fingers, and I am able to pray in this fashion. More often than not, it is a wordless prayer that rises from my soul to God, a plea from a Mother's heart that God, in His Mercy, will heal my son, but only as He Wills, never as I will. It is a plea that is enveloped in acceptance of this suffering, of acknowledging before God that as my son lives and bears his cross as best He can, so do I believe that God helps him, and will help my husband and I do the same thing.
Next week: part three
In the Old Testament, the Queen Mother brought the petitioned needs of the people of Israel to the throne of her son the king (cf. 1 Kings 2:19). Now Mary is the new Queen Mother and Advocate in the new Kingdom of her Son, who brings the petitioned needs of the People of God to the throne of her glorious Son, Christ the King, particularly in our own present difficult times.
The Co-Redemptive role of the mother of Jesus as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate for the People of God is already contained in the official and authoritative teachings of the Church's Magisterium. Now, at the summit of the Marian era, what remains is the final proclamation by the Church of this final Marian doctrine as Christian dogma revealed by God.
Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici (Voice of the People for Mary Mediatrix) is an international lay organization that seeks to work for the papal definition of our Lady as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate by gathering petitions from the faithful throughout the world in humble support of our Holy Father for this final Marian dogma.
Vox Populi is distributing this work throughout the world in several languages including English, Spanish, German, Polish, Dutch, Russian, French, and Italian, and has already received over one million petitions from over seventy countries throughout the world.
This international Catholic movement has also received the endorsement of twenty-one cardinals and numerous bishops from the six continents of the world.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta gave her signature and support as well, and has asked that Dr. Miravalle's book and petition sheets be sent to over six hundred Missionary of Charity houses throughout the world.
Vox Populi has received the official endorsement of the international council of the Legion of Mary, which also seeks to gather petitions from its members.
The two previous popes who defined Marian dogmas, Pius IX and Pius XII, both referred to the international petitions of the faithful as one of the criteria that led to the final acts of papally defining the Marian dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.
NEXT WEEK: Second part of Father Dominik Maria's article on the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.
O Comforter, to You do we cry
O Heavenly Gift of God Most High
O Fount of life and Fire of love,
And sweet Anointing from above!
You in Your sevenfold Gifts are known;
You, Finger of God's hand, we own;
You, Promise of the Father, You,
Who do the tongue with power imbue
Kindle our sense from above,
And make our hearts o'erflow with love;
With patience firm and virtue hight,
The weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
And grant us Your true peace instead;
So shall we not, with You for Guide,
Turn from the path of life aside.
O, may Your grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know;
And You, through endless times confessed,
Of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
With You, O Holy Comforter,
Henceforth by all on earth , in Heaven.
Let us pray. God, You have taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pope Alexander III, the 170th successor of Peter, supports the Lombard League, which finally defeats Frederick I Barbarossa at Legano, forcing Frederick to negotiate with Alexander, whom Frederick then recognized as Pope.
Pope Nicholas IV, the 191st successor of Peter, crowns Charles II of Salerno as king of Naples and Sicily at Rieti, after making Charles first do homage to him as Pope.
Pope Leo X, 217th successor of Peter, allies himself with Charles V of Spain, in helping defeat King Francis I of France during the time of the fifth Lateran Council.
Death of Saint Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi, born in 1566 as Catherine. She became a Carmelite in the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence, May 17, 1584 and took the name Mary Magdalen with the motto, "To suffer or die".
Death of Blessed James Salomonio who sold everything he owned and gave all his money to the poor and entered the Dominican Order with nothing and gained everything!
Death of Saint Ferdinand of Castile, born near Salamanca and became King of Castile at eighteen. Married to Beatrice in 1219, he fought the Moors, built churches, and monasteries. He is the patron saint of engineers.
Death of Saint Joan of Arc, youngest of five children, who was given mystical graces at a young age, and told that her mission was to defend the Dauphin of France. She led an expedition to relieve besieged Orleans. Captured in battle, Joan was sold to the British in 1430. She was burned at the stake for false charges of heresy on this day in 1431 and canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. She is known as the Maid of Orleans.
Pope Clement VII, 219th successor of Peter, convenes the Papal Legates to discuss what action to take against King Henry VIII of England. However, as had become customary during his reign, he took no decisive action in the matter of the King's question of divorce and remarriage. The indecisiveness led, inevitably, to the excommunication of the king, and the schism between England and the Church in Rome, spawning the Anglican Church.
Archeologist Antonio Bosio discovers the ancient catacombs beneath Rome by accident. His discovery led to an investigation of these Christian burial sites, which provided much information on the early Christians, their martyrdom, and the relics of many saints.
The cardinal acknowledged that he was diagnosed with the cancer earlier this year, but put off the scheduled surgery until after the busy Lent and Easter seasons. The 62-year-old cardinal said the cancer was detected in its early stages. "I am very grateful to almighty God for the advance warning of this potentially serious form of cancer," Cardinal Mahony said.
The operation is scheduled for June 15 and he said doctors told him they expect him to make a full recovery. Cardinal Mahony succeed Cardinal Timothy Manning as leader of the largest archdiocese in the United States in September, 1985.
Gianfranco Ghrilanda, SJ, a professor of canon law at the Gregorian University, suggested that the Holy See should devise a new legal code for these movements, since they often do not fall within the scope of existing Church rules. "These movements represent such an original thing in the life of the Church that it would be in conflict with their spirit to force them to conform to the already existing juridical structures," he said.
Professor David Schindler of the Pope John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC, affirmed that the challenge would be to find a way to express "a distinction between institution and charism that does not imply an opposition." He stressed the need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide the new lay movements, without sacrificing the need for those movements to be governed by the hierarchy.
More than 100,000 homosexuals and lesbians are expected to visit the Orlando mega-theme park and other attractions in the area during the first weekend in June. The Walt Disney Co. said it does not officially sponsor the events. But the Rev. Flip Benham, president of Operation Rescue, Disney is a target of their protests because it once touted its family values and now promotes a secular world-view.
Benham said he and his group will enter the park during the "Gay Days" and "we'll make ourselves known." He added, "If they think they're going to just drive by us at the gate, they're wrong. They'll get the same thing inside the park that they get when they show up at the abortion clinics." Benham was arrested last year during the "Gay Days" for obstructing traffic outside Disney World.
Speaking to reporters in Rome at the close of a conference of lay movements, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith emphasized that he was not opposed to the celebrations, but would be uncomfortable in the midst of a "permanently celebratory structure." He pointed out that one journal had listed 240 celebrations for the Jubilee, and added that these could not possibly be intended for all Catholics.
The cardinal also observed that there are many people who reject the entire premise behind the Jubilee celebrations, because they reject the notion that the Incarnation is an important event for today's Christians. The events of the Jubilee should provide Christians with an opportunity to evangelize such people, he said.
The archbishop made his statement as Chile's Congress discusses changes to the "Law of Parenthood," which now recognizes different rights for children who were born within a family than those born out of wedlock. In response to some local media that have accused the Catholic Church of opposing the reform of the law, Archbishop Errazuriz said: "The bishops unequivocally support this initiative but we stress that the best way to prevent evils is to first strengthen the family."
"What real difference would new law makes to a child born out of wedlock if he has already been deprived of his right to have a stable home, and to receive adequate emotional support?," he asked. He added that out-of-wedlock children deserve to have good education and health assistance, just as all children do, "but all that and more is better guaranteed by a family than by the state."
Archbishop Errazuriz took over leadership of the Archdiocese of Santiago on May 17. One of his first announcements was the implementation of the Family Pastoral Department, which was created by his predecessor, Cardinal Carlos Oviedo, in 1997. On Monday, Archbishop Errazuriz officially opened the office of the new department.