Two Migrant Ladies – One “Our Lady”
It was a beautiful sight to behold. It was before Mass and I was praying at the back of the Church. I was in the side Chapel that has a particular devotion to Mary. Indeed, the Chapel is called “Our Lady’s Chapel.”
There in front of me were two elderly women praying next to each other in front of the statue of Mary.
I knew both these women individually. One was from Lebanon and only spoke Lebanese. The other lady was from Italy and only spoke Italian. Their English language capacities were very limited indeed.
And yet there they were. They were both praying devoutly, united in the Marian prayer of the Church.
At some point after a period of time, one stopped praying and stood up to move away.
This Italian lady then tapped her Lebanese prayer partner on the shoulder. Immediately the Lebanese lady also stood up. And there I saw a beautiful thing. These two mothers and grandmothers embraced each other fondly without saying a word. Then the Italian lady moved into the main body of the Church to prepare for Mass whilst the Lebanese lady resumed her position of kneeling in front of the Mary statue.
I was brought closer to Jesus by witnessing this beautiful experience of the Church community. Although not being able to speak a common language, these ladies were united in a deeper language – the Prayer of Jesus with His Mother. These two mothers knew that Mary the Mother of Jesus would understand their prayers and intentions. They were clearly able to share with the Holy Family the joys and struggles of their own family life. They placed their intentions before God, via Mary’s intercession.
This is a truly wonderful aspect of living our Catholic faith. We might come from completely different cultures with completely different languages and customs and different foods, and so on. Yet there is a commonality at the deeper level that we share in Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the Saints.
Isn’t it wonderful to live in our Catholic community! Despite all our problems and difficulties, despite all our hardships and pains, we are able to be united in the joy and the hope of the merciful presence of Jesus Christ, living amongst us in His Holy Spirit.
May we never take our faith for granted. Let us be like these two wonderful mothers and pray alongside them in the faith that we share in Jesus Christ.