Day 5: Dealing with Strong Emotions
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
—Ancient “Memorare” Prayer
Sharing your life with others means bearing the burden of their crosses. This is one way in which prayers to Our Mother of Perpetual Help allow you to extend comfort to others, and by remembering the sorrows of our Blessed Mother, to find solace in your own sufferings. The icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, with its angels holding the cross, nails and thorns of Christ’s passion, reminds us of the image of her Son’s suffering that must have remained with Mary as she contemplated the cost of our salvation.
Sharing your life with others, however, also means dealing at times with strong emotions that others may arouse in you. Sometimes these feelings can seem quite primitive and raw, as though old wounds that never fully healed have been torn open again. When these feelings get out of hand, they can cause everything in your life to go awry, especially your relationships.
For this reason alone, it is important to understand why you feel the way you do. Only by understanding your feelings and releasing them to God’s loving embrace can you hope to tame your emotions and allow them to speak wisely to you.
When you pray, you may also find emotions welling up that make it hard to concentrate. Sometimes these are due to the distractions of the day, but other times these can be a barrage of old images and feelings that seem to catch you by surprise.
The spontaneous release of old emotional materials may be part of the prayer process. Try turning these feelings over to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Let her gently guide you and help you release emotional material that may be hurting your relationships and impeding your prayers.
This Reflection delves into our emotions. With the help of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, you will learn how to express your emotions, first to her and then to God.
For when we hold nothing back from God, we eventually come to see that He, all the while, has been holding nothing back from us—his abiding presence is everywhere in our lives.
Blessed Mary, some things are just plain difficult to talk about—to anyone. My emotions are one such thing. I don’t really know why. The strange thing about this reticence is that you and your divine Son already know how I feel.
Yet it is the act of sharing itself, of having to look at you face to face, that I cannot seem to deal with. I feel like a child who is afraid of facing his or her parents after being discovered in some wrongdoing.
Mother Mary, help me to be always mindful of your gentle mercy and goodness, and your Son’s love that is always there for me.
Help me to know in my heart that there is nothing that will ever take that love away. Help me feel comfortable enough in my relationship with you that I will never again hesitate to turn to you with any thought, feeling, or passion.
Inspired by this confidence, I pray that I also will give everything that I have, even my wild and unkempt emotions, to your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I worry about the melancholy which overtakes me at times: my jealousy, my anger and my fears. But your Son knows me. He has probed my heart. He understands my thoughts as well as my feelings. Therefore, help me to turn everything in my life over to you and Jesus. Help me not to hold back. In this way I will come to love others with a sincere and open heart.
For I know that as I turn my entire life over to you and your Son, He will become the Lord of my heart as well as of my mind.
Mary, I desire to receive your Son’s love into my heart and let that love flow over into all my affections.
Use crayons and/or pencils to draw a picture of yourself when you are happy. On another sheet of paper, draw another picture of yourself when you are sad. Do the same thing for when you are angry, upset, when your feelings are hurt, and so on.
When you are finished, place the pictures on top of one another in a neat stack; then throw the stack up in the air. Once again place the pictures in a neat stack and again thrown them in the air.
Each time you throw the pictures in the air, pray that you might turn everything in your life over to Mary and Jesus.
Repeat this process a number of times until you get tired. Then pray the Memorare to ask Our Mother’s intercession in your intention of taming your emotions.