The Mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Every day when I pray in the adoration chapel, I sit in a particular seat–the one closest to the monstrance. Most people sit where they won’t have anyone behind them and can keep everyone in the room in sight. But I sit where I can see only Our Lord.

At the rear of the chapel stands a statue of Our Lady appearing to look desperately for the Child Jesus, who, as it happens in the statue, is lifting His little arms in praise just behind her and where she cannot see Him–her hand remains just slightly too high for His raised hand to be touching hers.

I have been sitting near the monstrance for months. Only a few days ago, however, did I start to look directly at Him in the Blessed Sacrament. My eyes have been closed in prayer, or downcast in pain, or upon reading materials nearly the entirety of all of my visits so far. But now I’ve started looking at Him for a time during my prayers, too.

As I looked on for a time, I began to recognize a glow in the glass of the monstrance–a reflection that can be seen only from the seat in which I usually sit. Because of the light upon the statue of Mary behind me, her mantle casts a visible reflection in the glass over the Blessed Sacrament.

Let me describe that again. Mary’s mantle is over her Son.

When I look to her Son, she magnifies His light, cloaking Him in her mantle. This is the mantle that was His shelter to Egypt and back again, that was His shelter within her womb to Elizabeth and to Bethlehem, that is ever more my shelter through this world’s desolation, that is always visible when I look to Him…that is before me now even as He is before me, even as she stands behind me.

Because of her and with her, I can truly ask,
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
whom should I dread?