I remember when I was in High School, I studied in a school that was devoted to “Our Lady of Miraculous Medal.” At the start of every subject we used to pray “Oh Mary conceived without original sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” We were forced to memorize this prayer at that time but little did I know after several years, this prayer would become very personal to me. After so many years, I have begun to be sensitive to the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary in my life, and I have started to list down my encounters with Our Lady. As we celebrated her birthday, I would like to share how the Blessed Virgin became a personal mother (Theotokos) to me, a mother whom I would love (My Lady), and a model of obedience as the most obedient discipline of God.
Mary, Mother of God (Theotokos)
It was May 2006 when I attended a youth camp in “Mary Mother of God Retreat House.” I had no recognition that during that time the Blessed Virgin Mary was already inviting me to make her a personal Mother; as a mother who will guide me no matter what path in life I would choose. She assured me that she will accept me and will still lead me to Jesus. Seven years after, because of the unrecognized graces that I have received from God through our Mother; my life was never the same again. I am no longer the boy that Our Blessed Virgin called into a relationship with God through her but a boy who have already fallen in love with the captivating graces of our Mother Mary. I have started to find myself praying the holy rosary almost everyday and attending mass in Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish every 12 noon during my lunch break. When I go to different places to give talks, I gradually realized that she will lead me closer to Jesus; a mother who will always love and accept Her child no matter what happens.
My Love (My Lady)
It was February 14 of 2016, Valentines day, when I really fell in love with Our Lady. I was given an opportunity to give two Love Forum sessions during Valentines day of 2016 in two different areas and caught myself very tired and weary from driving and giving talks. It felt like my energy was being drained while giving talks and driving from one area to another. That evening, as I went to mass, I was asking God “Why do I need to do this alone? It is very tiring.” Then when I returned to the car, I just sat down and closed my eyes and did a deep sigh. While in the passenger seat of my car, I looked at my keys with a keychain of an image of Our Lady and my rosary and realized that I am not alone. That day, Valentines day, I was able to celebrate it with my Lady and ever since then I have started to fall in love with Our Lady. Months later, as I was heading for confession, I lately began to get bothered by the persistency of Our Lady’s presence in my life. I even told the priest in my confession that I am irritated every time I see Our Lady because I think there is something she wants to tell me, but I’m so afraid of it. The priest then instructed me to light a candle and offer it to Our Lady, and told me “the blessed Virgin wants to give you a gift”. After that encounter, and ever since then, I became close to Our Lady of Fatima through Her gift for me, Her Immaculate heart: A Heart pierced with sword and burning with Love. Loving her will allow us to find Christ in suffering because of Love.
Most Obedient Servant
“FIAT” is one of the most remarkable words of our Mother. “Your will be done”. There was a time when I went to a mission trip in Bacolod. As the team and I were on our way home, we saw a statue of Our Lady of Fatima sitting inside the airplane and I felt amazed during that time. I saw Mary, during that time, was not just an obedient servant where she accepted the fate of Christ; I saw her also as an obedient apostle by doing Her mission to go to different places and tell the people that there is much in just one yes.
Just last August, I went to Tuguegarao for a mission trip. One day, during one of my talks, a parade honoring the statue of Our Lady of Fatima passed by near the venue. We paused for a while to show respect to our Lady. During that time I was so tired and had many resentments in my mind as to why I was still doing the mission and why did my partner and I had to stay in Tuguegarao for 18 days; which was my longest mission trip ever. I have come to realize that the Blessed virgin just passed by to comfort me and remind me that in everything I am doing it is not about me but about the will of God Our Father. A day after that incident, I met a priest who told me a story before He was ordained as a priest. He was asked by his bishop about what he can contribute to his diocese. Then he paused and answered, “Bishop I may not be the best priest in my seminary, not the best in giving homilies, not the best priest in our diocese but all I can do is to obey what God is asking me to do. That instance reminded me of Mother Mary and her obedience again.
My prayer is that we all become generous in saying yes even if we do not understand the calling like her. Mother Mary fearlessly accepted God’s call. Her obedience came from her tremendous love.
Jam Michaelson is a Mission Volunteer for the Youth for Family and Life. He goes around the provinces of Luzon, proclaiming the message God to all the youth and inspires them to live a life of Christ. He loves billiards and guitar as his hobbies.