During these trying times, Kathy Perusek remembered that there is truly a place where we can find comfort and peace.
As I live each day, in uncertain and frightening times, I long for the comfort of my mother. Jesus said, in Mt 18:3 “Unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Children are meek, humble, and trusting. They cling to their parents, with whom they feel safe. I remember well when I was a little girl, and clung to my mommy.
Mommy, a convert to Catholicism, was an affectionate, kind, woman who had loved Jesus, ever since she was a little girl. I was blessed that she taught my sister and I about the angels, Saints, Blessed Mother Mary, and the Rosary, which comes directly from the Bible. When my sister Linda and I, were young, Jesus called my Mommy home to Heaven through an accident which also took the life of our baby brother, Ricky. Mommy had sought shelter from tornado warnings in a central closet in our home. The doorknob was faulty, and we were all trapped inside for hours. After doing all we could to get out of the closet, my Mommy hugged us, told us she loved us, and prayed Hail Marys, which brought us peace as we fell asleep. Fittingly, at her wake, there was a beautiful life-sized rosary, draped around her body, with real red rosebuds for every bead.
I still remember so much about Mommy. She had a rosary with crystal beads that sparkled with rainbow colors in the light. Mommy never wore a long robe with a mantle, like Mother Mary, but she did wear soft, wispy head scarves, which we loved to play with, mostly because they carried the smell of her and her perfume. Whenever we were close to our mommy, held in her arms, we were safe.
Since I lost my mommy, I have developed a devotion to Blessed Mother Mary, my Heavenly Mother. Under her mantle I am safe. With so much turmoil and fear swirling all around us, in the world, I take shelter in quiet prayer, pondering and praying, like Mary did. I reflect upon the heart wrenching moment when Jesus gave Mary to John, his beloved disciple, and thereby to all of us.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son.” Then he said to the disciple, "Behold your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)
We are wise if we take Mary into our homes and hearts. We are the body of Christ, so Mary is our mother too.
I am amazed at God’s loving providence that He has sent his Blessed Mother Mary, to us, Her children, in many Church approved apparitions, such as Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima, and Kibeho. During these apparitions, Our Lady has begged us to return to Jesus, to convert, to pray, especially the family Rosary, to do penance and pray for the conversions of sinners. She has told us she will protect her children. This does not necessarily mean from death, but she will help us, and give us peace, to face the storms of life and bring us to Heaven one day. Mary always points to Jesus, just as at the wedding in Cana, she told the waiters to “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)
I am comforted when I do what Jesus and Mary tell me, and when I pray my Rosary, go to Mass, or read the Bible. Psalm 91 is my favorite for these times. When I turn to Jesus and Mary in prayer, and rest in them, I have an indescribable peace. God commands us to go and make disciples of all nations. We cannot do this if we are crippled by fear. Only in God can we find courage to live the mission He has for our lives.
So, I surrender myself, my children, and grandchildren to God. Though my children are now grown, I did try to take some of them, when they were little, to daily Mass when I had the opportunity, and our family attempted to pray the family Rosary. Many times, we were interrupted by rambunctious children, as well as our crazy schedules. Sometimes we would just say a decade. Since Mother Mary has requested this prayer, I feel it is important to at least try to pray as a family. Any effort we make will be richly blessed, as we place ourselves under Mary’s mantle.
Ponder: What are ways that I can grow closer to Jesus, through Mary, so to lead my children to find shelter under Mary’s mantle?
Copyright 2020 Kathy Perusek
Images (top to bottom): Copyright 2018 Holy Cross Family Ministries, all rights reserved; copyright 2020 Kathy Perusek, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Kathy Perusek is a mother of seven children, and a grandmother. She was a stay-at-home mom until her oldest child graduated college. Kathy then returned to school, earning associate degrees in nursing and arts. She worked as an RN in a hospital, then for hospice; currently, she works in a pediatric practice. She is a former La Leche League leader and enjoys reading, singing, and babysitting.