The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Fruit of the Mystery: Devotion to Mary
Something Every Catholic Mother Needs
by Rosie Bowden
It was a perfect, fall morning. My beautiful little talkative daughter was just over three years old and my constantly-on-the-move son was just over a year old. We were all home together as I was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom and I remember soaking in some candid moments as I watched them play with our beautiful puppy in our picture-perfect backyard. From all outsiders looking in, we had a perfect little life. Things were going just great!
Except that they weren’t… in fact, they were far from. For a combination of reasons, some big but most of them small, I was having a really, really bad day. My mental state was at an all-time low. I couldn’t dig myself out of the horribly negative headspace I had found myself in.
Oh, did I mention it was my birthday?
You see, your birthday doesn’t mean a whole lot as a mom. Being that my 1- and 3-year-old barely knew one day of the week from the next, they certainly didn’t understand the concept of it being “Mom’s birthday.” (And it feels kinda weird to repeat all day “It’s my birthday!!”)
So unfortunately the usual workload of dishes and laundry and changing stinky diapers and wiping sticky hands and cleaning the tenth spill of the morning, was all the same. We actually were also nannying an extra 1-year-old at the time so I really had my hands full.
One thing was certain, nothing felt different about it being my birthday. In fact, I barely even remembered that it was⸺occasionally, a glance at the calendar reminded me of the “big day” but it honestly was just salt in the wound that I could be having such a bad day on my birthday of all days!
One of these bittersweet reminders came when I saw the very familiar and comforting name pop up on my phone as it rang out of nowhere: “Mom.”
Even though I still live close to home and see my mom often, it always brings a smile to my face that she never forgets to call on my birthday.
Part of me didn’t want to answer⸺it was easier to go about my day in the numbness of the ignorance that today was supposed to be anything special. But, it’s my mom and an adult interaction amidst this day of monotony, so I answered. Her cheerful, familiar voice wished me a happy birthday and asked me how my day was going. I’ve never been one to lie to my mother, so out came the words and along with it, the tears.
I totally surprised myself with the level of emotion I had apparently been holding back. She had lots of comforting things to say, mostly stories of relatable birthdays when my siblings and I were younger and she was in my shoes. I felt a lot better, just being heard and seen.
Later that day, when things were slowly creeping back toward being a really crummy day, I had a surprise visit from a few of my sisters. I had no idea they were stopping by and they had a very special gift for me.
I wrestled the two 1-year-olds off my lap and opened it up: a beautiful little statue of the kitchen Madonna. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a lovely statue of Mother Mary, with the Child Jesus at her side. She has a broom and is basically demonstrating that she too was a mother like us, with monotonous duties and responsibilities and a Child at her side.
I couldn’t hold back the tears and thanked my sisters again and again for such a meaningful, timely gift.
By the Grace of God, my day got much better and over the next few days and weeks I really spent a lot of time looking at that statue. I had placed it above my kitchen sink, so encountering it often was kind of inevitable.
The connection that followed was truly life changing. You see, I THOUGHT I had a relationship with Mother Mary, but really it was nothing more than scratching the surface of what was to come.
In the same way that your relationship with your mother is completely transformed once you become a mom, I started to realize that my relationship with Mother Mary was long overdue for a revamp. I couldn’t remember the last time that I had done anything intentional to grow my devotion to her.
I thought about that phone call with my mom on my birthday, when I was having a really hard time. I didn’t know what I was going to say to her and I certainly didn’t know what she was going to say to me, but I was willing to answer the phone. I was willing to open that line of communication; I trusted that the outcome would be good.
So why then, do I not do the same for my Heavenly Mother? Why do I not go to her in my times of need and open that line of communication? Here I was struggling as a mother and I was rarely even going to Our Mother besides my daily Rosary (and even that was a very rushed and unfocused task).
When Jesus was dying on the cross and the most unimaginable amount of despair taking over St. John, Jesus told him “Behold thy Mother.” When all seems lost, go to her!
What followed was basically a year-long journey (well, ongoing really) of increasing my knowledge of Our Mother. I started really making sure my Daily Rosary was ALWAYS happening and that it happened before I was super exhausted at the end of the day. I made a beautiful Rosary bracelet (which I now sell) that encouraged me to want to pray it not only every day, but also to pray some extra decades during those middle-of-the-night wake ups with kids or long drawn out bed times.
I started listening to all the St. Louis Marie de Montfort books on Spotify and couldn’t believe what I heard: Our Blessed Mother is SO powerful! She cares about us SO much! Especially us mothers. But how can she show us that if we don’t even open up the line of communication with her?
I knew then that I wanted to do everything I could to feel connected to Our Mother. I enrolled in the Confraternity of Christian Mothers, I renewed my Total Consecration, I got a new Scapular that had the Miraculous Medal on it, I added some new art of Our Mother around our home, I got an outdoor Mary garden statue, I even got some t-shirts with quotes about Our Lady. I started sharing more about her on my social media platforms. I suddenly wanted anything and everything to do with Our Mother and let me tell you, she has pulled through for me like you wouldn’t believe.
Not in a way you might expect⸺we still have our struggles whether it’s sickness or financial or day-to-day mom life challenges. But the way I’m able to handle it all, the grace with which I’m able to handle it all, is surely a result of my complete surrender to God’s Will, to Jesus through Mary.
The comfort of relying on Mother Mary during times of difficulty with the same complete confidence that a child puts in its mother is something that every Catholic Mother needs.
I have to end with this most fitting of quotes by St. Louis Marie de Montfort:
“If you put all the love of all the mothers into one heart, it still would not equal the love of the heart of Mary for her children.”
Go to Mary, my friend! She wants you to be successful (spiritually speaking) in this life, so that you can be eternally happy with her Son in Heaven.
God Bless You and Mary Keep You!
About Rosie: Rosie was born and raised Traditional Catholic and is a Stay at Home Mom to three under five. Rosie’s social media presence is known as “The Crunchy Catholic” where she shares experience-based encouragement and resources for Catholic Moms. Her most popular product is her beautiful, handmade Rosary bracelets which are a result of her efforts to spread Devotion to Our Lady and the Rosary.