When I was a kid the song was out with the words, “I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden.” I remember taking it quite literally and wondering if the song was about some door to door salesman scam gone awry: someone made an assumption of services, paid the cash, and then was disappointed in not getting what they assumed they were getting.
Sometimes it seems that this problem exists with Christians. They sign up thinking, “Since I gave myself to God and try to be good, everything will now be great in my life.” Read: Prosperity Gospel (a bunch of malarkey.) In fact, expect quite the opposite.
In Lumen Gentium we are reminded that Jesus said, “blessed are those who hear the world of God and cherish it!” Mary, who was full of grace (grace being Divine help that brings us closer to Him – can you imagine being full of that? Wow!) heard the word of God and said yes with her entire life. One would think that if anybody would be promised a rose garden in this life it would be Mary. She heard the word of her Son, her Creator to Whom she gave birth, and faithfully contemplated these things in her heart and lived them out. She was present at the beginning of His ministry and “faithfully persevered with her Son unto the Cross, where she stood keeping with the Divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of His suffering, associated herself with His sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and loving consented to the immolation of this Victim which was born of her.” Is that not devastating? No rose garden (at least in this life.) And by that same Son, she is given to us through St. John when He says, “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.”
Only by meditating (praying) on His words and promises could she accept such tragedy and understand that from such devastation true life would spring: eternal life – a life of joy. And so the lesson, though the mother, is given to us.
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis!