"Where is your belly?"
It's become a ritual. So much so, that in those after bath moments where my mind is elsewhere, Naya brings me back, pointing to her knees.
It's as if she is saying, "Pay attention to me."
And I can't help but to pay attention.
These rituals make me feel human. My life, obviously is very human and all the things I feel, desire, fall into, reject, think about, everything I am is human.
And as a mother, my children remind me of my humanness; my good qualities and my downfalls.
I listen as Liani says her prayers at bedtime; those prayers that I just recently learned as an adult. Liani sees life revolve around Christ. In her young heart, Jesus is everything.
At first sight, the icon to the right, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, seems to scream royalty with its gold background and the ornate crowns and attire. These two people seem untouchable, unidentifiable to me. However, I learned this icon shows both Jesus and Mary at their most human.
Jesus, as a child, has a vision of His future suffering, as seen on both the right and left with the angels Michael and Gabriel holding the cross, spear and lance with a sponge attached, all instruments used in the Passion. Jesus becomes so frightened that He runs to His mother, and in doing so, almost lost a sandal. As He holds on to His mother's thumb with both hands, she comforts Him, but looks toward us as if to say, "My Son will suffer this for you." Although she looks sad, she is accepting of that future envisioned and that it will come to pass because it is God's will.
We all tend to forget that the Queen of Heaven was once a very human mother. She nurtured and fed God. She snuggled Him and gave Him many sweet kisses oh His forehead. She taught Him to walk, to talk. She dried His tears and laughed when He laughed. She was a parent, just like any other, except she was raising the Word made flesh.
As majestic as we see Mary depicted in paintings, Human Mary was poor, hard-working, but also humble and God-fearing. What an honor to be able to have such an influence over the life of the Only Son of God. The only difference between Mary and us is that she chose to do all things according to God's will and this humility made her Heaven's royalty.
Lent is an excellent time to meditate on Mary, especially through the rosary. As God's Mother, she knew Him well. She raised Him, loved Him, worried over Him, wept for Him, suffered with Him. She exulted Him. Despite her role in His life, Mary remained faithful to His role in her heart. We should all follow her example of love for Our Lord.
Mary was one of the many gifts Jesus left us. He made her our spiritual mother and in turn made us all her children. She intercedes for us because to love her Son is to love us and to love us is to love her Son.
Our Blessed Mother, Holy Virgin, Star of the Sea, Mother Most Pure, Mystical Rose, Queen of Apostles, Mother of Good Counsel, Queen of Peace, Cause of Our Joy, Queen of Angels, Morning Star, Spiritual Vessel, Virgin Most Faithful, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Refuge of Sinners, Mother of God,
pray for us.