A Blessing from the Mother…
As a child for me, hers was the image of God. We had pictures and statues of her in my childhood home and they gifted me comfort. I learned the rosary, prayed the Mary mantra, and meditated on the flaming heart.
One summer school break, our babysitter took my brother and I to a local Catholic church every day. Grand ceilings reverberating Latin litanies. Pained and crucified martyr hanging over the altar. Listless whispered prayers and hand shaking with strangers. It felt like discipline to sit for so long.
But in the back, by the big heavy doors, was a huge, beautiful statue, they called her Madonna. To me she was the most beautiful, benevolent kind image on display there. An unconditionally loving, welcoming gesture.
A place for me to focus. Adorned with flowers, a font at her feet. A loving mother, creator of life, healer of wounds and sorrows…Goddess.
My mom told me the stories of Our lady Lourdes and the miraculous waters of healing, and of Our Lady of Fatima appearing to children in Portugal. After reading Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye story, I was convinced she was like the guardian Angels, and had a protective quality.
Later in my teens discovering a number of books on the Black Madonna…was fascinating, and lead me to a deep and winding path….
In 2011 I found “Untie the Strong Woman” a book by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes– a collection of devotions and more stories of the Blessed Mother. So I picked up a copy for my mom as a gift without hesitation, based on the cover art and the author.
Mom ate it up quickly and gave it back to me to read. Inside I learned that in 1531, there lived an Aztec Indian man whose given name was “Cuauhtlatoatzin”. It means ‘one who sees and speaks like the eagle’.
These are the words spoken to him by Our Lady, in Mexico
500 years before he was renamed St. Juan Diego. May you be blessed by them.
“Have you Forgotten?
I am your Mother
You are not alone.
You are under my Protection.
Anything you need,
Do not Worry about anything.
Am I not here-
I who am your mother?
Have you forgotten?
I love you,
and you are under my protection”