Wed. Oct 21st, 2020

On Friday, May 1, Catholics of our country re-consecrated our nation to Mary, the Mother of the Church. At 2 p.m. CDT in cathedrals across the U.S., bishops prayed the prayer of consecration of our land to Mary, our Mother.
Why is the purpose of this consecration? It is our way of asking Mary to join her prayers with ours in praying that God will bless and protect our nation. We are asking her to pray with us that God will protect our country, our loved ones and us, especially in this time of pandemic.
Sometimes our non-Catholic Christian neighbors who belong to various denominations will ask me: “Why do you pray to the saints? Why don’t you go directly to God in your prayers?” My answer to them is that we are going directly to God. It is just that we are not going alone. We are asking the saints to join with us as we pray directly to God.
When we ask the saints to pray with us it is not that we are asking the saints to get us some blessing that God will not give us. If anyone would have that attitude, it would be a serious error in understanding the faith. Instead, we are asking the saints to pray with us. We are asking the saints that, as we go to God, we want you to go with us. Praying together is so pleasing to God.
Sometimes people will ask me to pray with them. They will tell me that they are going to have a serious medical procedure or surgery in a few days and they ask for my prayers, or teenagers will tell me that they are trying to be accepted into a certain college and they ask me to pray for them. I consider this a great honor that someone would ask me to pray for them. It is very humbling, and it is very natural. They are not praying to me; they are asking me to pray with them as together we approach God, but not alone.
God wants us to pray together. In the Gospels, when the apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus taught them the Our Father. This is a prayer that is obviously meant to be prayed together. He did not teach us the “My Father” but rather the “Our Father.” Everything in the prayer is plural: “Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those …” It is not “Give me this day,” or “forgive me my trespasses …”
Jesus says that whenever you gather your voices on earth in prayer “it will be granted by my Father in heaven.” (Mt 18:19) If it makes sense to ask each other to pray for us, would it not make even more sense to ask someone who stands in the presence of God to pray for us? How pleasing this must be to God.
This is especially true of Mary. On the cross the Lord looked down and saw Mary and the Beloved Disciple standing there. We are not given the name of the Beloved Disciple but he obviously represents each of us. The Lord said to Mary, “Woman, behold your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (Jn 19:26-27) We are given Mary to take into our homes as well.
Mary’s role is clearly shown in the story of the wedding feast of Cana. When the young couple ran out of wine, Mary said to Jesus, “They have no wine.” Then she said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” (Jn 2:3,5)
That is always Mary’s role. She goes with us to her Son to join with us in telling Jesus our needs. She also says to us to trust her Son and do whatever He tells us to do.
So with this confidence of faith we began this month of May, the month in which traditionally we remember Mary, by taking, as did the Beloved Disciple, her into our homes: the home of our land, the homes of our families, the homes of our hearts. Through this reconsecration, we ask her to come with us during this pandemic and at all times as we go directly to her Son, but never alone.

By Editor

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