Our Lady and the Healing of Our Daughter
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It was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I was 20 weeks pregnant, working full time, my husband a masters student. We were preparing to enter the Church, and facing a lot of opposition to our decision. Our life was a bit of a roller coaster, to say the least. That day, December 12th, we walked away from our ultrasound—the first time seeing our first little baby—with words like “surgery,” “cysts in the lungs,” and “bi-weekly ultrasounds” crashing around in our heads and hearts.
That night, we got back to our tiny little apartment and I remember sitting in the dark living room, unable to get my thoughts together. I heard what sounded like a protest going down the street outside: drums, and some sort of chanting. Then I remembered that it was the feast of Our Lady, and the local parish planned a parade through the streets. In that moment, I felt Our Lady announcing her presence to me. She was telling me that she saw me, that she knew, that she was watching, that she would look out for me even as I felt lost and frightened.
Until that point in my journey to confirmation, Mary was simply a concept. After that day, she became a love.
I think often of her words to Saint Juan Diego: “Am I not here, I, who am your Mother?...Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more?”
It seems that it is easy for us as women to feel like we have to hold ourselves together at all times. We need to be strong, capable, always ready to meet a need or take on another responsibility. We sometimes struggle to be weak, to accept the limitations and the hardships in our lives. Yet, that is precisely where Our Lord, and His mother, meet us.
Since that beautiful and also scary night two and a half years ago now, I have come to see that Jesus meets us precisely in our most mystifying and weakest moments. He comes to us and offers His mother as comfort, as reassurance. When we simply can’t hold ourselves together any longer, there is another who understands our womanly cares and concerns. She knows our discouragements, our fears, our hopes, and our joys. She is always opening her arms to us, folding us within her embrace, offering us her Son’s strength so that we can be weak.
I credit the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe with the healing of our daughter. At her six-month scan in preparation for lung surgery a few days later, the doctors didn’t find what they had been seeing on ultrasounds for months. They were speechless. Truly, our Blessed Mother sees us.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!