My Nagging Mother

I love my mom. I always have. But when she quit dyeing her hair while I was in high school, letting it grow out to gray, I was mortified. Selfishly, I couldn't see why she would give up dyeing her hair other than to embarrass me. Mom had other reasons, of course, but I thought she existed solely to ruin my life. Throughout my high school years, she drove me to school in a large white delivery-type van, unashamedly conversed with cute boys my age without consulting me, wore hideous frameless glasses and ankle-length skirts, and sang opera-style at church. I used to hide and blush and cry "Mooooom!" at her embarrassing antics. 


Sometime around my junior year of high school, however, I realized that my mom wasn't going away. I loved her then as I do now, so I resolved to stick by her instead of fearing that someone might figure out we were related. For so long, my mother annoyed me. But it took those years of annoyance to foster personal growth. My mom wasn't going to change simply because I (or any one of my sisters) was ashamed of her. She stood by us even when we complained, argued, cried, made fun of her, disobeyed, and pushed her away. She continued to be herself. She did our laundry and made dinner and cleaned the house and worked so that we could go to college and washed the dishes and fed the dog. Mom waited for us to come around. More accurately, she ignored our embarrassment and continued to be our mother. 

You may be wondering why I'm telling you about my mother. Well, this summer, I consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary according to Saint Louis de Montfort's Marian Consecration. The consecration involves a 33-day preparation period of prayer before the day of consecration, usually a Marian feast day (mine is the Assumption). The consecrated then devotes him- or herself to prayer, especially inviting the Blessed Mother to reside in his/her heart. de Montfort suggests wearing a "consecration chain" around the neck or wrist.   On August 15, I prepared for my consecration by having a priest bless my consecration chain and eagerly sealed it around my wrist with pliers. 



Excited to have an outward reminder of my devotion, I promptly forgot that the chain was permanent. Night after night, I attempted to peel the chain off my wrist as I would a bracelet. I grew increasingly annoyed with the chain, but I promised myself I would not remove it. The chain annoyed me, but my awareness of it was a constant reminder of my obligation to Our Lady. The purpose of a consecration chain is to remind the consecrated of her slavery to Mary, and mine was doing just that!

Just like my mom, Mary annoyed me. Her chain on my wrist alerts me of my slavery and my promise to her--but it is also a constant reminder of her love for me. My mom annoyed me in high school, but I came to realize that she loved me just the same. It took a while then for me to come around, and it took a while more recently for me to realize that Mary was not trying to annoy me, but rather asking for me to draw near to her Son! What a loving mother she is to annoy me so much. Each time I become hyper-aware of the chain, I try to focus my attention on our Blessed Mother rather than my own exasperation. 

It's tough. I'm working on it. Mom's holding me.


Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you, disturb you.
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Stay tuned to one more catholic for more on Marian consecration, Marian devotion, and the Marian virtues! 

2 comments:

  1. I love this!!!! What a great crossover with your mom and Mary in your life. Also, pliers is how you get those chains on?? It seems like everyone and her roommate at FUS has one of those chains, but I've never understood 1. Where you find those, and 2. How you get them on. What a cool sacrifice, to keep on wearing the chain when it irritates you! Thanks for a great post and reflections, Rebecca!

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    1. Yes!! I'm so glad you understand. I didn't know what Marian consecration was until later in high school. I remember asking an older girl where she got her "bracelet." She patiently explained that it was a sign of consecration and that she bought it at the hardware store!

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