Pascha Epiphany: Most Holy Theotokos, Save Me
On Pascha, I suddenly had an epiphany about the Theotokos and how she could be a mother figure for me. (I’m a slow learner, :-) apparently!) Then last night I found a wonderful article (The Handmaiden, Winter 2003) on just this subject. It’s called “Finding My Mother, Mary,” and it’s by Carol Wartenberg.
Carol says that for a variety of reasons, her own mother was unable to adequate “mother” her. However, glory to God, she became Orthodox as an adult and found she was able to turn to the Theotokos to ask for help with mothering her own daughters. “Yes,” Carol Wartenberg, “the Theotokos has always been there for me and for my children, and she is there for you also…”
“Do you know a child,” asks Carol, “who does not have the benefit of a mother’s love, whether through death, divorce, or neglect? Show this child what earthly kindnesses you are able to manage. Pray for this child to the Lord, above all. Finally, remember to ask our dear Mother to make intercession for this lonely innocent.”
Distressed by many temptations, I flee to thee, seeking salvation. O Mother of the Word, and Virgin, from ordeals and afflictions deliver me. O most holy Theotokos, save us. Outburst of passions trouble me and fill my soul with great despondency. Calm it, O Maiden, by the peace of thy Son and God, O all-blameless one. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. I implore thee who gavest birth to the Savior and God, O Virgin to deliver me from perils. For, fleeing now unto thee for refuge, I lift up both my soul and my reasoning. Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Ailing am I in body and soul, do thou vouchsafe me the divine visitation, and thy care, O thou who alone art the Mother of God, for thou art good and the Mother of the Good.