Behold your Mother…What does it mean to Catholics with mental illness?

Behold your mother

Take a moment to imagine it…

The hill of Calvary outside Jerusalem, approxamitely 33AD. An innocent man from Nazareth named Jesus is being crucified while His mother, the apostle John, and a handful of other disciples watched. In His agony He already forgave his executioners (Luke 23:34) and a repentant thief (Luke 23:43). Even in the painful throes of death, Jesus only thought of others before Himself. It was at this moment that Jesus entrusted His beloved mother Mary to John’s care. “Woman, behold your son…. Behold your mother” (John 19;26-27).

These statements served a two-fold purpose. The first being that Jesus knew that nobody should suffer in solitude. Jesus entrusted John to take care of Mary legally and formally, as her husband Joseph was already deceased at this point. In turn Mary took care of John as well, thus ensuring that both would be cared for later in life after Jesus was gone.

The second purpose is on a much bigger scale; Jesus is entrusting us to take Mary into our own hearts and care for her as our spiritual mother. In turn Mary invites us under her protective mantle as her spiritual children. What a wonderful gift Jesus has given us! From that moment forward Mary became the spiritual mother of all the Church. All believers can count on her for motherly guidance, care, and recourse to her Son. We are a gift to Mary as well, for she takes joy in leading the fathful closer to her Son.

This especially holds true for those who suffer from depression or anxiety. Of all the figures in the Bible, Mary knows better than anyone what sorrow feels like. The prophet Simeon described it as “a sword piercing her soul” (Luke 2:35) Mary must have felt that sword twisting in her soul as she watched her Son die. As I reflect on this post I cannot imagine what was going thru Mary’s mind and heart. The Roman soldiers had beaten Jesus to the point where she barely recognized Him. I find it comforting that the Queen of God’s Kingdom was not a stranger to suffering and heartbreak. Amazingly, she accepted this all of her free will. Even more amazingly, she forgave her Son’s executioners.

She wants to love us and draw all of us closer to her Son. What sorrows are you facing today? On this day, I invite you to read this Bible verse and listen to what Jesus has to say to you. He is inviting you to behold your spiritual mother. Take her into your heart, let her feel your suffering, and she will embrace you with love.

Visit our Reources page at for additional information and for quoted verses. God bless.


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