I have always known that these children are not really mine. They are only on loan to me. God created them and they belong to Him. He has allowed Dan and I to cooperate with Him to bring life to them. We are charged with their care for only a short time. Our job is to love them, to nurture them, to take care of all of their needs but most importantly, we are to do all we can to get them to heaven. But somehow, these facts get lost in our day to day lives. I am the parent and therefore I take on this authoritative attitude that stings of pride. After all, I'm sure I know better than God, right? No.
When I was pregnant with Nathan, after having suffered several miscarriages, my sister-in-law gave me a small blue book called "A Mothers' Manual" by A. Francis Coomes, S.J. This book is filled with wonderful prayers for mom and moms to be. I found a prayer in there that I had never heard before...at least at that time in my life (young(er) and no parental experience at all!) that was called "Consecration of a Child to Mary". I immediately prayed that prayer for my unborn son.
I have since prayed that prayer for each of my children. I've given them over to the protection of the Blessed Mother. There is no one better to mother them. My desire is that she can fill in the gaps (or gaping holes) when I fall short. And I do, often.
Right now, I don't know what to do about Amelia. I am doing all that I know to do, but I feel as though I am falling so short, as her mother. I need Mary to fill in the gaps for me now.
I have prayed these two very special prayers again for all of my kids, but especially for Amelia right now. I know that Mary heard that prayer the first time I prayed it for her, and I'm in no way suggesting that Mary has stopped protecting her or has withdrawn her protection or that it somehow didn't "take" the first time. I pray this prayer again and hand her over to the Blessed Mother as a reminder to ME, that I am not in control, that she isn't really mine anyway, that God IS in control. Perhaps God wants me to surrender her again....to stop trying to figure out every single detail. God is already in the midst of this struggle. While I was wanting someone at the school to come along side Amelia to help her through this...God is reminding me that HE (and His Precious Mother) are already along side her....they've never left!
These are the two prayers:
Consecration of a Child to Mary
Holy Mary, mother of God and mother of all the faithful, I place my little child under your motherly protection. To you I completely consecrate my child, body and soul. Take her under your care and keep her always. Protect her in her infancy and keep her sound in body and mind. Guard her youth and keep her heart pure, her thoughts ever holy and directed to God and the things of God. Protect her always throughout life--in her joys and sorrows, in her successes and failures, in her dealings with others. Always and in all things be a true mother to her, Mary, and preserve her. I commend her entirely to you. Remember, Mother Mary, that through this act of consecration she becomes in a special way your child as well as mine; guard her and keep her as your very own. Amen.
For Protection of One's Children
Holy Mother Mary, by virtue of your divine motherhood you have become mother of us all. I place the dear ones God has given me under your loving protection. Be a protecting mother to my children. Guard their bodies and keep their thoughts ever holy in the sight of their creator and God. Guard their hearts and keep them pure and strong and happy in the love of God. Guard always their souls, and preserve in them faithfully the glorious image of God they received in Baptism. Always, Mother, protect them and keep them under your motherly care. Supply in your all-wise motherhood for my poor human deficiencies and protect them from all evil. Amen.