There’s a clip from the movie La Vita É Bella where Josué finally finds his mother among the Holocaust survivors.
I must have watched this film a dozen times, but that scene gets me every time. I can identify with Josué’s feeling of happiness upon finally finding his mother and running into her arms to proclaim, “Abbiamo vinto!” (We’ve won!)
But recently this scene has been popping up in my mind concerning my relationship with our heavenly mother Mary. There’s so many times when I’m sure that she is asking me to run to her arms for safety. She’d lift me up, kiss my face, and hold me close to her heart.
That’s just it, though.
For years I viewed Mary as just another character in the Bible, a woman who was kinda important in Jesus’ life. I never truly believed in who she was and is. I’ve said so many Hail Marys over the years with no meaning to accompany the words of her prayer.
I’ve never contemplated the mysteries of the Rosary until now.
I use my gift of imagination to envision the different mysteries of the Rosary as if they were happening in real time. And it was about a month ago, after praying the Rosary when the word “Mama” came into my mind. I heard that scene from La Vita É Bella playing over and over in my head and Nicola Piovani’s music filled my heart. It was and still is really emotional to me to know that my mother Mary communicates with us in real time in our different languages, even in Italian.
There is a woman at the parish where I go who always leads the whole church in the praying of the Rosary. I’ve seen her for about a year now and her behavior is interesting to me. She prays the Rosary faithfully but she is so rude in the way she treats everyone.
The other day I was quietly speaking to a nice old woman in the back of the church and this woman came up to me and scolded me saying “People are trying to pray!” Forgive me but I thought that the Gospel is mostly about how you treat each and every person in your daily encounters.
People like Her believe that you can pray and act one way while in Church but then you are free to treat everyone else like they are unimportant.
Recently I’ve learned that how you treat our Lord and our Lady are inexorably tied to how you treat everyone else. Trust me, God is watching how we treat each other, and giving up your seat to a stranger, giving a smile to a rude customer, and a offering a comforting word to someone who is suffering doesn’t go unnoticed when we’re talking about God.
I try to use the passage from Matthew’s Gospel when I think of how I am supposed to treat others in my life.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Those are the words I use for my journey and I now give them to you so that you can experience the joy and happiness that comes from following Christ’s words in the Gospel.