As the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, I am reminded of the words given by Mary to St, Catherine Laboure which are inscribed around the edge of the Miraculous Medal: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” The words “O Mary conceived without sin” are exactly the reality which we celebrate on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – the fact that our Blessed Mother was preserved from all sin, including that of original sin, by a special grace. It is the second part of the prayer that I have been thinking about recently: “pray for us who have recourse to thee.” Those words are not exactly 21st century suburban lexicon. I have come to understand this powerful phrase through the lens of my own motherhood.As a Mom I have experienced the perplexing phenomenon of having my children run straight past their Dad and directly into my arms sobbing and relaying their latest tale of woe — anything and everything from “I’m hungry” to “I don’t feel well” to the perennial “We have no toilet paper.” Often, their needs are not something that I can directly meet – at least on my own. It is my role to take those needs and advocate for my children – with my husband, or the pediatrician, or a teacher, or even another child. As a Mom, I sometimes feel like the majority of my day is spent anticipating my children’s needs and seeing that they are met. I do so out of my great love for my children and they, in turn, sense that love and have recourse to me. There is no greater satisfaction for me than knowing that it is my love and help that have brought peace and comfort to one of my children. The reality is that my children

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