Last weekend was my son's First Holy Communion. Watching him, standing so straight and tall with the other children of the parish and singing his heart out, it took my breath away. (Chris is top center)
The little wild child who used to hide under tables and strike out at our priest, who painted walls with ... well, who painted walls and tore stuffed animals limb from limb, had grown up into a wonderful young man.
At the last moment, we were unable to find the white tie we had purchased for the occasion ... And then I found the little white garment he had received at his baptism two years before. His dad fashioned a tie out of it. It fit perfectly.
"Ave, ave, ave Maria ... Ave, ave Maria..." Their voices raised in song, I couldn't help but sing along. The path we had traveled together had not been a smooth one. There were times we were both scared. I was especially scared that I didn't have what it took to raise children with the kind of history, the kind of trauma these kids had experienced.
And yet, I had a special advocate, praying for me. Someone who had seen her Son carry burdens even greater than mine had. Someone who had walked alongside Him every painful step of the way. Someone who was even more delighted than I was at that moment, to see my son receive her Son, and all the graces that go with it.
She is the Mother of Mercy ... the Divine Mercy whose love knows no measure, whose limitless grace pours out in rich abundance whenever we call out to Him.
Mother of Mercy, I place my child into your loving care.
Your Son died for him, that he might live forever with the Father.
Hold on to him tight, especially when I cannot be there.
Watch over him, and be for him the mother I can never be.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.