An Interview with an average sinner. Radio Talk Show Host, (“SH”) takes a call from Alphonse Spangler, of Cardium, Texas (“AS”).
SH: Today we are asking y’all if you have asked Mary, The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God if you have ever asked her to forgive you. We’ve got Al on line 3.
SH: Hello Al, how’s it going with you today?
AS: Better and better. Another day closer to eternity. I never thought about asking Mary that question. I know Jesus suffered and died for my sins, but I never really thought about hurting her.
SH: Well, you may have heard about how they describe Mary’s own suffering, the “Seven Sorrows” of Mary?
AS: I think so. Something about a sword in her heart?
SH: Yes, that’s part of it. We learn about that in Holy Scripture in Luke’s gospel, seventh chapter. St. Luke knew Mary and odds are he got his information directly from her. There are many things in the gospel for which there could be no other source than Mary herself. Four of those seven sorrows are about her hurt and pain because of the suffering passion, crucifixion and death of her Son.
AS: I didn’t know that.
SH: I am sure you have figured out in the past the part you played in all that, that He suffered for you.
AS: Yes! I have tried to recognize and repent for all those sins. All those times I turned away from Him to do what I wanted, what God told me was wrong, what was wrong that I chose to do anyway. But I didn’t hurt Mary!
SH: What about when a mother is hurt because she is there and sees her Son when He is hurt, especially when she knows there is nothing she can do, she cannot help her child, she cannot ease the pain, and she knows not only is it going to get worse, he is going to die?
AS: I haven’t thought about her hurt.
SH: It is not imaginary. Ask any mother. Jesus knows what’s happening and what will happen. Mary, His mother, also she sees is His suffering and pain.
AS: But He must have told her it’s all going to be OK. She must have believed Him. She was without sin.
SH: Yes, but she was still His mother. That knowledge did not mean that she did not hurt with every blow to her son, with every thorn pushed into his head, with every nail pounded through His hands and feet, with every time he pushed up on the nails through his feet to get one more tortured breath.
AS: Now that I think about it, you’re right. Oh boy! I have been praying to her since I was a kid- Hail Marys, Hail Holy Queen, Memorares, and that ‘Lovely Lady” prayer my mom taught me almost before I could walk. I must have asked her a million times to ‘pray for us sinners,’ and that included me. But I never apologized. Maybe she has already forgiven me and everybody else. She is totally happy now in heaven.
SH: Yes, but forgiving you now would not make her unhappy. Hearing you ask would not take away from her total joy.
AS: I guess I will ask her.
SH: You know, I’ve been here on God’s good earth for some many decades and it wasn’t ‘til just a few years ago I had this thought and realized I, myself, I had hurt Mary. And I just said,” Our Lady, please forgive me.” Every time I have attended the Stations Of The Cross since them, they have taken on some new meaning. And I think I am starting to understand some of what happened when Jesus was hanging on the cross and told Mary that John, the young apostle, was now her son. Now all of us are her spiritual sons and daughters. And she was right there when He begged the Father for forgiveness for all of us. How do you think you will begin?
[AS was silent for a few moments].
AS: I guess I’ll begin by telling her I am sorry. Sorry for what I did to her Son. And sorry for the hurt and pain that I caused her. Sorry that I have never realized that I hurt her. Then I will ask her to forgive me, and let her know she owes me nothing. How will I do it? I guess I’ll just begin and ask her to please forgive me and then go on with the Lovely Lady prayer.
SH: You know as soon as you do, she’ll let you know you are forgiven. She is your mother now, my mother, mother to all! She won’t say ‘no’. That’s not what mothers do.
[The “Lovely Lady” poem was a favorite of Blessed Fulton Sheen and he recites it at the end of this segment from one of his TV shows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lyId61fHIQ)