Red roses from my Love capture my attention each time I walk through our living room. I can’t see red roses without remembering the roses. Three dozen of them, at least, and the most heavenly fragrance I’ve ever known. My neighbor, Rosa Maria brought them. It was as if my senses were opened more fully to the beauty of creation and I begin to see Mary in a new way – not just as Jesus’ mother, but as she is, God’s masterpiece of creation. Twenty-some years later, the experience remains a mystery to me. I received that day a heightened appreciation for the beauty of all created things, an appreciation that has not diminished with time. It’s akin to the difference between the first colored photographs and high definition digital images of today.
Catholics often think of Mary in connection with roses, but I knew nothing of such a connection when I experienced this.
I often wish Mary were not such a stumbling block between Christians. To my Catholic friends, I would say, “There is no need to worry yourselves about trying to convince others to honor Mary. She is happy to be completely ignored by her children as long they are listening to her Son and doing their best to do whatever Jesus tells them.”
To my non-Catholic friends and family, I would say, “There is no need to be afraid of those who honor Jesus’ mother. We do not pray to her as if she were a goddess. We ask for her prayers and for the prayers of all the saints because we know death was not the end for them.”