I have not had a "Mary moment" quite as she describes - I've never seen her face appear, or smelled roses when I am nowhere near a garden, or seen her in some other, tangible way. But I have had an experience of the intercession of Mary, and since then I've felt a closeness to her.
Back in early 2004, my husband and I had crossed into our third year of trying to conceive a child. I have PCOS, which causes a number of symptoms, including impaired fertility. We'd worked with a fertility specialist, but it was expensive so we'd opted out of medical intervention and continued to try on our own. It ranks pretty high on my "most difficult life experiences" list. As anyone who has experienced the pain of infertility can tell you, not getting pregnant when you want to get pregnant can be shocking, devastating and consuming. It was certainly all three when it happened to me.
I had done tons of research, charted my cycles for ages, made changes to my diet, began exercising more regularly, and did everything I could to maximise my chances. My prayer on my way to work nearly every morning went something like, "Please God, let us conceive a child soon. And if it can't be soon, please let it be someday so we can know the joy of parenthood."
In February of that year, my lovely mom bought me a Miraculous Medal. I was not familiar with these medals, but reading up on their origins, I was intrigued. I was not a practicing Catholic at the time, but I still vaguely considered myself Catholic, so it wasn't a stretch for me to appeal to Mary, despite my lack of church attendance or involvement. I put on my medal as soon as it arrived and wore it every single day. And each night as I lay in bed, I appealed to our Blessed Mother to pray for me to her Son and to His Father, that we might be so blessed as to have a child.
I got pregnant the next month.
Now, it would be very easy to discount my experience as coincidence. I had recently lost weight, which certainly can be a factor in restoring fertility in PCOS women. (Then again, my cycles had been regular and of typical length for a year by this time.) But still - I don't think that this story is so amazing, so compelling, that anyone could read it and think, "Wow, that's sure an intense and obvious example of Mary's intercession!"
But for me, it was.
I felt, from the depth of my soul, that Mary had prayed for me. I knew it inside in a way that I simply cannot explain. I have no way to prove my claim, no way to show one who would doubt that what I experienced was real. But it was. It was very real. My first pregnancy snuck up on me out of nowhere, during a time when we'd made a lot of progress toward coming to terms with the fact that God's plan for us wasn't exactly what we thought it would be, but we had faith that somehow, someday we'd be a family of more than two. And I know from the bottom of my heart, that Mary's prayers were a part of that amazing miracle.
|Me with my firstborn son, David, when he was about three days old|
I thank Mary for her role in bringing the priceless gift of motherhood into my life. And I've seen how she can reach out to us and lead us to her Son. For that has always been her role, both when she was here on Earth, and as she resides in Heaven. She reaches out to us and leads us to Him. Motherhood has been one of the most precious gifts I've been given and has done a lot to lead me back to God.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.