An Abyss of Mercies
“When you are about to pray to our Lady the Holy Virgin, be firmly assured, before praying, that you will not depart from her without having received mercy. To think thus and to have confidence in her is meet and right. She is, the All-Merciful Mother of the All-Merciful God, the Word, and her mercies, incalculably great and innumerable, have been declared from all ages by all Christian Churches; she is, indeed, an abyss of mercies and bounties, as is said of her in the canon of Odigitry..”
~ St. John of Kronstadt
When my mama heart is breaking for one of my children, or when worries about their future disturb my inner calm, I think of the Theotokos at the foot of the cross weeping for her son. She knows. She understands, like no one else, how a mother’s heart pulsates with love, joy, and anguish.
It is of endless comfort to know she loves me, and loves my sons and daughters even more than I do. Recently, I’ve taken to coming to the Theotokos whenever my soul is pierced by the ache of uncertainty or helplessness. Throughout the day, I’ll stand before her icon and whisper my concerns for my kids as they rise up within me. I’ve started bringing to her all my big and small prayer requests (Please comfort my son. Please guide my daughter. Please free my kids from the passions that rob them of peace.). I leave them there with her, strengthened by my faith that she is shouldering my burdens and showering mercy upon my children and me.
Anxiety comes from trying to control what feels out of my control. Releasing my loved ones to Christ and His mother soothes my anxious spirit and quiets my doubts and assumptions. God knows better than I do what my kids need for their own growth and salvation. So every day I will try again to surrender them to His compassion. Becoming a calm and hopeful mother is one of the best gifts I can offer to my family.
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