Hell froze over when I chopped off my hair for the official mom’s haircut. (My husband’s smile froze, too.) Then pigs started flying when I left my career to stay home full time and when my husband decided to forego the L.A. Lakers game in order to say the family rosary each night. All these combined earth-shattering events on the twelfth of never inevitably led me to one life-defining moment: Mamas know best.
The approximate time I acceded that my mama knew best was about the time I realized that Holy Mother Church’s dogmatic teachings on faith and morals are infallible. Both were spot on on the importance of Eucharistic devotion, the virtue of chastity and modesty, the sin of contraception, the error of \”gay marriage\”, the atrocity of abortion, the lunacy of euthanasia. “The Church is Mother and talks to the people as a mother talks to her child, with that confidence that the child already knows that everything he is being taught is for his good, because he knows he is loved,” Pope Francis said.
All along, Catholic mother and Catholic Church were right even though I’d been swayed by Hollywood on political opinions, relied on friends and acquaintances for decisions, or mingled with the neither here nor there mass of Cafeteria Catholics. I can almost hear my mom’s sing-song voice inside my head, “I told you so.”
Back when the Chicago Bulls were undefeated, I would have rolled my eyes at my mother’s gloating, but I now hail her proven wisdom in its fullness. Once I made peace with that, it was easy to consecrate my life to Our Lady using the St. Louis De Montforte’s preparation and prayer. It was only natural to trust Our Blessed Mother with my life, my marriage, motherhood, and children. Who better to lead me to Christ than the Blessed Mother herself? “For God, having given her power over his only-begotten and natural Son, also gave her power over his adopted children – not only in what concerns their body – which would be of little account – but also in what concerns their soul,” St. Louis De Montforte said.
If in the past I sought Our Lady’s apparition sites for miraculous answer to prayers (which she granted me by the way in a Church-approved apparition site in Banneaux, Belgium), I spiritually revisited many other apparition sites to study and read her messages: her loving motherhood in Guadalupe; requests for conversion and penance in Betania; urging us to pray the rosary in Fatima; revelation of the abundance of graces through her intercession in Rue Du Bac and even dire warnings in La Salette and Akita. My rueful logic was: If only I had put into practice the advice of holy mothers in the first place, I could have saved myself a lot of heartbreak and mistakes.
The most remarkable and recent of Church approved apparitions lies in Kibeho, Rwanda, Africa. In 1982-83, Our Lady of Kibeho appeared to several children, prophesying a brutal genocide that would eventually murder 800,000 people in 100 days. Though I’d initially intended to gloss over the horror of it, somehow I picked up Imaculee Ilibagiza’s book on Our Lady of Kibeho and listened to her heartbreaking testimony at a recent Diocesan conference.
Imaculee survived the genocide, found the depth her Catholic faith through the rosary while in hiding and forgave the murderers of her entire family. I will not recount Imaculee’s experience (it will be aired on EWTN soon enough and is detailed in her New York Times best-selling book Left to Tell) but I will say what had me sobbing was her narration of how she and her mother said goodbye with their eyes, across a crowd of thousands of villagers, anticipating the murderers’ approach, knowing they were seeing each other for the last time in this life. How often have I said goodbye to my mother through airport security lines, wondering if the next time I see her will be in eternity? How grateful I am that God gave me to her, and that she in turn had me baptized into Holy Mother Church, which unerringly paves my way to eternal life!
If Our Blessed Mother were in the human habit of saying “I told you so,” the events of Kibeho, Rwanda would have been the perfect opportunity to say it. But Our humble, gracious Immaculate Mother instead comes to us where we are, in our brokenness and sin, through our Bibles and rosaries, inviting us with the simplest of her life’s message: Follow the cross of my son Jesus and obey His Church. I only want to make your life a living fiat to God.
© 2013. Anabelle Hazard, Esq. All Rights Reserved.