In my room at my parents’ house, above my bed, I have a shelf with my top 20 or so books by my favorite authors. Surrounding them are religious pictures that I’ve received or bought over the years. There was a crucifix from my mom at the top, a famous picture of Pope St. John Paul II, an image of Rembrandt’s Prodigal Son, a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the shrine in Mexico, a picture of the veil of Veronica, but the largest image was the depiction of the Divine Mercy.
During my last month living at home before my wedding day, I made a commitment to pray the Rosary every day leading up to my nuptials. On one specific morning, I chose the Glorious Mysteries. The last Glorious Mystery, the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, stuck out to me because of the power of Mary that it personifies. In all honesty, this used to be the one I was most confused about. I think for myself, and many Catholics, we are not too sure exactly what Mary’s Coronation is, besides the fact that she is crowned as queen. What exactly does that mean for us here on earth?
I thought about my own mother, and her great witness to the tremendous role of motherhood. My three brothers and I had many disagreements growing up. But one thing we all agreed on was that if mom calls for your help, you go running to her. We picked up on this from a young age because of the witness of my father, who always stopped what he was doing to go to her if she called for help. One day, he explained to us why. Dad posed a question: “What if she was in danger or in need of dire help and you didn’t go see what she needed?” He said, “If she is asking for your help, she needs it, and that is why we run towards her.”
Mary’s ability to comfort and intercede is the entire mission of the Queen of Heaven and earth; the tremendous power of Mary to ask her Son for anything her children need is what we call to mind in the Fifth Glorious Mystery: The Coronation of Mary. This is why Mary’s role is pivotal for the disciple. We bring our needs to her, she listens, receives them, and then calls out her son’s name: “Jesus, come here, I need you.” Like any good son, Christ stands and runs to his mother, because she needs him, and he cannot refuse what she asks of him on our behalf. What we celebrate in the Coronation of the Blessed Mother as queen is both her intimacy with her son, and her proximity to us.
The power of the Blessed Mother is awesome and should bring us great joy. Not only do we have a God who loves us infinitely and sends his only son for our sake, but we have a mother who stops at nothing to come to our aid. The only proper response we can have to mercy, to God’s gift of himself to us, is gratitude, joy, and praise.
Praying the Rosary under the image of the Divine Mercy that morning pointed me to the beautiful fact that Jesus most likely learned mercy from his mother, who bestowed it on him abundantly. I realized that her “coronation” and queenship resides in her proximity to and relationship with her son; I was hit by the fact that the Rosary invites us to that same proximity and relationship in an intensely powerful manner. Since that day, I’ve carried a rosary in my pocket and tried to pray it almost every day.
Our faith is about allowing God’s rays to reach us, change us and bring us to his side. Not because we earned it or deserved it, but simply because he desires to come so close to us.
Getting to his side is quite easy: Ask Mary to bring you, pray the Rosary, and you will find that when we bring our needs to her, she never fails in bringing us to him.