Mater is a fresco on the wall in the ancient convent in Rome, but it was only painted in 1844. A picture or statue of Mater is found in every school of the Sacred Heart all over the world. She has much to teach all of us and I thought I would ask you to reflect with me on this picture as we want to honor Mary in a special way during the month of May.
Mary seems to be lost in contemplation. She is still, looking inward. She has not been idle; she holds the evidence of her work in her hand. There is also an open book beside her.
When I was a young child at the Academy of the Visitation, I had to wait for my father to come pick me up after he left work. The Sister in charge of the study hall would see that I needed to move around a bit and would send me out to be with the older student who was at a desk near Mater in order to answer the house phone during the study period. She and I would play hide and seek with a button; the hiding place had to be somewhere on the life-size statue of Mater. I learned to know all the crevices in her gown, and I also grew to love her. It was a joy to find her again at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles as I began boarding school there for my high school years. The statue was just outside our study hall and we curtseyed to her each time we passed Mater. She also held note for us asking favors, the basketball sat in her lap before a game and we left our hockey sticks in front of her, too. Now I think of her as a real Mater, a Mother, who is watching out for me and always ready to listen, to console, to give me hope and intercede for me.