Shoes are the bane of my existence.
- They frequently go missing, and no one ever seems to know where they might be
- They don’t feel right over socks, so anything other than flip flops is torture
- A wiggly toddler + time for shoes = a swift kick in the face for mom
- The car is the perfect place to take them off (and lose them)
I can’t blame the kids, considering the grief I gave my own mother. I have a vivid memory of my mom ushering me into the front office, explaining that I was late for school because my socks didn’t fit right.
Not just once. Not just twice. But nearly every day, for the entirety of second grade.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
I think it’s fitting, then, that the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help features the Madonna holding her child.
And Jesus’s shoe is falling off.
Really. Take a closer look and you’ll see it. The icon helps me remember two things:
- Mary mothered a child who was fully human and fully divine, and he probably had his own childhood quirks
- Shoes are just shoes. I can’t let them impact my motherhood.
Why? Jesus’s shoe isn’t falling off just because he’s a toddler. According to this explanation, the dangling shoe indicates the infant Jesus’ anguish over his impending crucifixion. To further the impression, Jesus turns his gaze upward to the archangels holding instruments of his sacrificial death. His hand clings to his mother’s.
If anyone had reason to rue their motherhood, it was Mary. But she didn’t give up, nor did she curse the God who placed her in her mother’s womb. Instead, she comforted and loved the son whom God had given her, just as she comforts and loves us as Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
- View the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Talk about what you see in the icon, and what those things might mean.
- Identify something in your family life that is a cause of stress. Work with your family to rectify it.
- Ask Our Lady of Perpetual Help to intercede for peace in your home.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, be near to us in our distress. Pray for us, that we might respond to the difficulties of life not with anger or frustration, but with a renewed desire to love our families and serve your son. Amen.
This post is part of the 31 Days of Devotion to Our Blessed Mother. To read the rest of the series, click here.