Walking on Knees with Mother Mary
Last year in August, I went on a pilgrimage to Portugal for the Centennial Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. Often, I struggle praying with the distractions of daily worries of family, friends and making ends meet so to go on a pilgrimage I hoped I will be able to leave those worries behind and focus on my spirituality.
In Fatima at the shrine where Mother Mary appeared, there is a long pathway to the shrine where many people would be praying while walking on their knees. They prayed so fervently and made it look so effortless, so I thought I give it a go.
One day, before the break of dawn to avoid the crowds, I joined Father Michael and some of the pilgrims to pray walking on our knees. As I observed Father and the pilgrims moving forward I got on my knees and started praying. They moved swiftly and got further and further away and as for me I kept lagging behind and the walking on knees became more and more excruciating, so I had to crawl. Like a snail I kept crawling forward with my head bowed down in shame as I realized I had overestimated myself.
As I continue to claw my way towards the shrine, my body got heavier and heavier. Then I noticed somebody walking beside me on my right-hand side. There was no sound, even though it was still dark I was able to see the tip of a pair of beautiful feet and the bottom of a white, elegant yet simple dress walking silently and subtly next to me. I didn’t dare look up as I felt undeserving, I just couldn’t. At that moment, my whole life flashed in front of my eyes like a montage of all the trials, tribulations, struggles and dark times from childhood to present. In each scene, I was able to see vividly where Mother Mary was standing.
One scene that resonated with me related to a time years ago when I was in my apartment alone heart-broken, curled up in a ball on the floor and crying unceasingly. After that I felt consoled but didn’t recognized what it was back then (I don’t recall ever being hugged by my own mother, so I wouldn’t be able to recognize that feeling of being comforted with a mother’s touch). This time, with the flashback, I can vividly see Mother Mary embracing me at that moment and all the other times when life got burdensome. After the montage was complete, I couldn’t see anybody walking beside me anymore but for the rest of the path, walking on knees was like walking on clouds all the way to the Chapel where Mass started.
Although, undeserving and I knew it, God has been very generous to me and He has answered my prayers throughout my life in His own creative way at just the right time. He answered my prayers by giving me Mother Mary through Jesus’ dying breath on the cross, He said: “Behold, your mother” (John 19:26-27). As I continue living daily life and especially in times when I needed a mother’s tender touch and love, I would turn to praying the rosary and with the “Hail Mary” her blessings would pour upon me.
How do I know? The feeling of anxiety gets taken from me and is replaced with peace. That is when I know that that was a good heart to heart conversation I had with Mother Mary. So, when living gets tough, praying the Fatima rosary and singing “Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria” I can always teleport myself back to the moment when I was walking on knees with Mother Mary walking beside me silently and subtly, leading me closer to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.