I was born and raised as a Catholic. We’re the type of family who’d go to church every Sunday, pray the rosary every day at 6:00 pm, especially during October, the month of the rosary; pray the Angelus, attend Black Rosary crusades in our village, and would complete 9-day novena masses for the Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Back then, I pray the rosary because I have no choice. We had to do it all together as a family. Mom somehow forced me into it. I hate praying the rosary because we were required to kneel down for almost 15-20 minutes.
Looking back, that practice made me memorize the four mysteries of the Holy Rosary and other prayers, but I thought that was all into it.
I’ve heard so many criticisms about how Catholics honor Mama Mary by saying our devotion to Mary is “not based on Sacred Scripture, that it is an offense to Christ, that no one should pray to Mary because there is only one Mediator with the Father, that Mary did not always remain a virgin, etc, and that our prayers can be directed to God without having to pass Mama Mary.”
The truth is, they almost convinced me, especially when I remembered how mom would always force us to kneel down in prayer.
What the Bible says
One Holy Week, I was asked to be one of the speakers during the 7 Last Words and while reading and reflecting, I came across the Third Word which is, “Woman, behold, your son. Behold your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
Accordingly, the Bible records many instances of Mary with Jesus Christ during his lifetime, but one instance that really struck me the most was when the wine ran out at a wedding, and Mary asked her son to turn water into wine (John 2).
For Jesus, it was not yet time to perform a miracle, but when Mary interceded, Jesus couldn’t say no. How can a son say no to his mother?
And so I thought, “Oh if I pray to Mama Mary, she can intercede for my prayers especially if it’s the will of God even if it’s not yet time?” That motivated me.
While I know back then that Mary can intercede for us, my belief was not yet full 100%. I know! I’m like doubting Thomas who needed to see Jesus first to believe that He has risen and I’m really ashamed of that.
Until my 7-year-old niece, who was in the ICU then, was in a life and death situation. I thought she’s going to die that night. I panicked and started searching for my rosary. All I found was my hanky where a prayer of Our Lady of Penafrancia was printed.
I recited the prayer and prayed the rosary after. While the doctor needed to intubate my niece that night, I know Mama Mary interceded to save her life. My niece managed to live many more months after that incident, unfortunately, she died due to complications.
It got me heartbroken but nevertheless, I know, Mama Mary interceded for us. She heard our fervent prayers that night and that started my devotion to Mama Mary.
Since then, I try to pray the rosary every day, or when I have extra time, I pray another mystery, while I’m waiting or traveling.
Is rosary a repetitive prayer?
Many people say that the rosary is a repetitive prayer, which directly violates Matthew 6:7, “But when you pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”
I like this explanation about the rosary, which says, “The rosary is not a prayer of words, but of meditation. When a Catholic completes praying an entire rosary of 20 mysteries, he or she has meditated upon the entire gospel: the incarnation, birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. No method of prayer is more beneficial than this.”
As for the statues, these are not objects of worship, but reminders for people to help them focus their minds as they pray. I suggest you research your religion, learn more about it by attending seminars. Do not leave it or bash it when things go wrong. Nobody’s perfect. At the end of the day, it is our faith that will save us and not our religion.
My Catholic journey is not an easy one. It is a lifetime learning. As church servers, we are constantly required to attend seminars to deepen our knowledge about our faith and the Catholic church.
My intention for writing this blog is just to tell you how Mama Mary interceded for me and my family. How Mama Mary helped change my prayer life and faith.
I know whatever I say here will not be able to change your mind about her because, for me, I got to know her on a personal journey.
Lastly, I don’t usually talk or comment about politics and religion in my blogs or Facebook posts because I really hate getting into discussions or debates, trying to prove a point.
The purpose of the practice of religion is to achieve the goals of salvation for oneself or others. Sadly, I’ve seen many relationships and friendships end because of politics and religions when it should not be the case because, at the end of the day, we are entitled to our own opinions