I am not a theologian, nor have I had a sophisticated Catholic education. I am just a simple girl who fell in love with God. I have nothing but an small story to share in hopes that maybe somewhere out there someone will seek out the same treasure that I have found. With that said, today I want to tell you the story of Mary in my life.
When I was born, my dad wanted a boy. I am the third girl, so you can imagine he was a little disappoint. Until he looked outside the window and there before him stood Our Lady Lebanon. He thought to himself "well she was a girl" and so within a second joy filled his heart.
There the story of a little girl began with her heavenly mother.
The first time I personally encountered the presence of Mary was at the shrine of Maghdoche in Southern Lebanon. This is where Mary waited for Jesus as He preached in Saïda and Tyre. There I felt her gentle touch and she became my mother.
Mary taught me about Jesus. She never pointed to herself, always and constantly pointing to her son. Through the rosary my life changed, the more I prayed it the more I fell in love with God. As a child I would pray one decade a day before I went to sleep and believe me when I say I felt a great power whenever I held my rosary.
As an awkward little teenage, I was so embarrassed to talk to Jesus about the boys that I liked, because he was a boy. So instead of telling Jesus, I would tell Mary, a girl like me!
I entrusted my secrets to my mother and she pointed me all the more the Bible. She took my prayers straight to God.
Mary, my mother, my confidant.
I grew-up and realized that I can tell Jesus everything, including my embarrassing love stories. This I learned from her.
The first time I went to mass in English I was 17. I went because of Mary. Up until that point the only place I had felt her gentle touch was in Lebanon, but then I felt her in a church near by. Often I would walk there to talk to her. One day I was there and mass begun and so I attended my first English mass. I was also given the Eucharist to take up to the altar which taught me a different lesson all on its own.
Not long after I came to her in tears and she guided me once more to God and His words. I open the Bible and it said "you are a fresh water flowing from Lebanon". Because of her I know that I have a purpose, this small-town Lebanese girl got the answer she needed and way more. Why? Because Mary pointed me to Jesus.
The first time, I expressed my desire to attend daily mass was with Mary. She asked her Son to open the doors for me. Because of Mary My relationship with God grew. My devotion to her led me to Jesus.
Today, even more than before, you find me carrying/praying my rosary. Today, more than eve,r I feel the strength that the little girl felt holding her rosary under her blanket praying a decade.
When Jesus was on the cross He said to ST. John "son behold thy mother" and to Mary He said "woman behold thy son". So, there at that moment she became my mother as well and has not stopped since.
I don't worship Mary, much like I don't worship my earthly mother. I love her with the same love I have for my earthly mother. That love is different from the way I love God, "the Alpha and the Omega".
I pray you found what you are looking for.
Rita A. Saikali