With my conversion to Catholicism, the first challenge was to understand the sacraments. Five years later, the rosary presented itself. As LifeTeen Summer Staff 2006, we prayed the rosary EVERY MORNING! I can not describe my discomfort at first… it was similar to the first time I attended a Catholic Mass. I was confused and judged the process instead of entering in. By the end of the summer, I was in love with the opportunity to mediate on Christ’s life during the rosary. I was aware of the peace I felt after emptying my intentions to God before each decade while asking for the same strength exemplified in each mystery.
My most recent blessing was a few weeks ago when I went to hear a man speak who had died for 3 days and returned completely healed. After hearing Bro. Stanley’s testimony, I saw Mary’s eyes open from the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe during the veneration. When I heard this was known to happen, I thought it would freak me out, but she looked so peaceful.
While on a St. Patrick’s Life Teen retreat, I went into the chapel to pray a rosary with my new friend Kate and it happened again. Kate also saw Mary’s eyes open before we started praying and it was comforting to know she is praying on our behalf. I suddenly remembered the ending prayer of the rosary, Hail Holy Queen, in which it asks Mary to turn her eyes of mercy towards us. I was amazed because I had prayed this prayer often, but never imagined her genuine care and immediacy. Only after someone pointed out the possibility of seeing her eyes open did I watch for it. Faith is full of the impossible. We can move mountains if we have faith WITHOUT doubt (Matthew 21:21). And we must trust that Mary along with other Saints take joy in comforting us with intercessions, just like our friends comfort us through prayers.
Jesus assigned Mary the joy of being our mother (john 19:27) and she obediently shares her love with us. Because He is King, she is the Queen Mother. In Jewish tradition, the mother of the king sits at his side and petitions for those who can not yet get an audience before him. In those days, asking the queen mother to intercede for you was the quickest way to reach the king’s ear. It is powerful to have Mary speak on our behalf, not necessarily for it to reach God’s ear quicker, but because she can repeatedly intercede for us… and in scripture, God tells us He honors persistence in prayer.
My love for ministering to teens through Life Teen runs deep and it is an organization dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. So let us pray:
Hail Holy Queen. Mother of mercy, our life our sweetness and our hope. To thee to we cry poor banished children of Eve. To thee to we sent up our signs mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then most gracious advocate thine eyes of mercy towards us and after this our exile, show onto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus. Oh clement, oh loving or sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us holy mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.