‘Help of Christians’ – Mary
Mary was there when he lived a hidden life. She was there on his way to calvary. She was there at the foot of the cross when he died, and she was there with the disciples in the upper room. She was there.
When we consider that Mary stood at the foot of the cross, with her heart pierced, suffering alongside her Son – God-made-man, we recognise that she wants to console him. Which mother wouldn’t? But perhaps only this mother would stand silently watching Jesus suffer without her intervention. Every mother I know, would have been trying to tear the soldiers into shreds, or pleaded with every soldier to let her child go. Only THIS mother could see beyond her ache, and anchor herself in God’s promise and fidelity so securely to the point of not fighting it, not even with a word. She knew that his death and resurrection were essential for the sake of ALL of Humanity. She offers her very heart ache, torment and torture, her sacrifice united to Jesus, for the sake of all of humanity. Our way consoling her then, as Christians, is to also love her son.
On the cross, Jesus gives his mother to John to be his mother, and he, her son. Commanding John to care for Mary from this point on – It’s no surprise then to hear that Mary was there in the upper room with the other disciples and followers of Jesus – I can’t imagine there is anywhere else she’d rather be than with those closest to her Son. I can imagine she tended to those who were anxious and encouraged the disciples to remain firm as they waited for the Holy Spirit to descend upon them. I imagine she wipes tears and held those who trembled with fear. She probably prepared meals and reminded them to pray and have faith.
She accompanied her son on his mission, and like the disciples, we too at Virtue Ministry, want her by our side to accompany us on the mission God has called us to. Mary – help of Christians, is entrusted to all of us to assist us through her prayers from heaven, to accompany us, remind us to pray, to have faith, to hold us when we’re afraid and to wipe our tears.
As a Christian Ministry, we were particularly drawn to this title Mary, help of Christians, who cares for all of us regardless of which denomination we may be part. She’s invested in our well-being from heaven precisely because her Son is totally invested in us and so she prays for us to draw closer and closer to Jesus.
She’s also the ideal model of a Christian life. One which is open to the grace of God operating in our lives, firstly by allowing God to enter our hearts and then to transform us, our lives and then others. In the words of Fulton Sheen ‘Let God do to your soul, what Mary let him do to her body, namely – Let Christ be formed in you’. Christ was physically formed in her only because she first let him into her heart before he was conceived in her womb. In the same way then, we pray for an outpouring of graces to purify (remove anything that is not of God) from our hearts, to enable Jesus to be formed in our hearts too and through our hearts form our entire lives into that of Christ – a true Christian life. For that, we have a beautiful model in one who already walked that path, Mary, Help of Christians.
by Stina Constantine
Founder of Virtue Ministry