Finding Comfort in Mary
Since a little girl, I have always found comfort in praying the Hail Mary.
Our Blessed Mother's prayer has always seemed to help me on those sleepless nights as a child. I would hold on tight to a small Mary statue that fit perfectly in the palm of my hand. I would eventually fall asleep knowing I was under her Son's protection and Mary's motherly love.
In my teens, my little small statue became a saving grace. I lived in a cute yellow craftsman home in uptown Whittier, California, during the 80s. On October 1, 1987, our cute little home was hit by a large 5.9 earthquake. Our house was shaken pretty bad, and so were my nerves.
I remember how scared I was that evening when I heard about aftershocks and the possibility of even bigger earthquakes!
That night, my worries about getting to sleep and feeling unsafe took an anxious turn. I asked my mom if I could sleep next to her bed that evening. She, of course, said yes, and I brought my pillow, blankets, and my Mary statue.
I lay there praying, trying to use all the tools I had from my childhood. At 16, I was still a child myself, but I knew even as a teen that there was strength in prayer, and especially for me, strength in the Hail Mary!
Late in the evening, another aftershock hit. It was a large jolt, like thunder, and I screamed. My mom jumped over me, and we ran outside. At that moment, I realized I didn't have my statue. I had been holding her but must have let go.
Once the ground settled, my mom ran in quickly to see where it was. There, between glass shards on my pillow, was the Mary statue. My mom picked it up and ran outside to give it to me. I remember crying, knowing that the statue meant so much to me. I was so glad to hold on to it again.
Sacred symbols of our faith are just reminders of what we already know is true. Even when we get lost, we have tangible ways to find our way back. Every time I come across a Mary statute, in a Church, grotto, or on a mantle, it is a visual reminder for me of my deep love of Mary and her Son, Jesus.
As I became a wife and mother, my Mary statue continued to be shared with my daughters on nights when they also needed comfort—a reminder for them to say a Hail Mary and trust that God is the ultimate protector through their heavenly mama.
"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."- Luke 1:38
Thank you, Mama Mary! Through your "Yes," you not only accepted God's plan but by doing so, you ensured that your scattered and sometimes anxious children know to trust Him with all their worries, those of the days and even the nights.
—Adina Braatz/MSMH Mission Development