By Ottisha Carter
Writer and current student for the Communications for the Archdiocese Specialist Training progamme (CAST).
During the last couple of weeks, people have been experiencing all sorts of negative emotions since the coronavirus pandemic has placed restrictions on our movements, interactions with others and our lives in general. People are longing for normalcy once more. Every day, people are asking: ‘When will this coronavirus pandemic come to an end?’ Amid all the frustration, anxiety and fear, Our Blessed Mother stands with us as she brings comfort and consolation.
From the cross, Jesus said to John, “Behold your Mother” and to His Mother, He said, “Behold thy son”. Our Lady plays a very important role in our salvation. Mary takes her role as our Heavenly Mother very seriously as she continuously intercedes on our behalf before Her Son. Mary is our ray of hope during these very trying times when our faith is being questioned as we continue to wonder on outcomes at the end of this pandemic.
Mary knows what it feels like to experience tremendous pain and suffering as she watched the manner in which her beloved Son was treated. She silently wept as she saw Jesus being beaten, spat upon, kicked, whipped, nailed to a cross and crowned with thorns. Can you imagine this happening to one of your children, siblings, relatives or friends? No-one would want this to happen to their worst enemy. Having gone through all of this, Mary thought she had lost everything. Yet, we can all agree that Our Lady had gained everything since her deep faith in the Lord was rewarded in ways beyond our understanding. She became the vessel through which the Sacred Heart of Her Son triumphs.
All of us are suffering in one way or another as we continue to live in isolation. Students are worried about their final exams. Parents who have been laid off from their jobs are struggling to find a way to provide for their families. Government officials are concerned about our lack of responsibility. People are missing each other and longing for the day they can just hug their relatives or friends.
Life in isolation can be frustrating especially when we are accustomed to living very busy lives. No-one ever thought that there would come a time when we would not be allowed to attend Masses. It’s still so strange thinking that we cannot visit Our Blessed Mother at Mt St Benedict or visit Our Lady of Fatima at Curepe. These are two places where many people find hope whenever they are struggling. Just being in Mary’s presence brings peace to a perturbed person’s dejected body.
Our Lady has many titles by which she is known. One of these titles is Mary, Hope of Christians. Let’s ask Our Blessed Mother to continue this period of isolation with us as we continue our journeys with the Lord. Good will come at the end of this coronavirus pandemic but we have to ensure that we are not losing faith as each day passes. At the end of this period, we should be able to say that the coronavirus pandemic has brought us closer to the Lord. Our relationships with Jesus and Mary are deepened since we came to realise the ways in which we had drifted away from them. Let’s not lose hope but cry out to Our Lady, Hope of Christians.
PRAYER TO MARY, HOPE OF CHRISTIANS:
Hail Mary, Hope of Christians, hear the prayer of sinners who love you so tenderly, who honour you in a special manner, who place in you the hope of our salvation. We owe you our lives.
You obtain for us the graces of your Divine Son. You are the sure pledge of our eternal happiness. We entreat you, deliver us from the burdens of our sins, take away the darkness of our minds, destroy the earthly affections of our hearts, defeat the temptations of our enemies, and rule all the actions of our lives so that with you as our guide, we may arrive at the eternal happiness of Heaven.
Amen. (St John Damascene)