We were on a cruise when our daughter, Brigette, decided to get up on stage to sing karaoke. Brigette had performed in middle and high school talent shows, so I almost expected it. But she always lip synced to songs of her favorite performers. With karaoke, people actually sing, Brigette doesn’t.

I looked up at a huge ballroom packed with more than 3,000 tipsy pleasure seekers.

“No, please, Brigette. You don’t have to!” I whispered as I started to panic.

“I really want to, Mom,” she replied.

Brigette loves to perform; she’s been in dance and gymnastics all her life and never lets Down Syndrome hold her back. Before I know it, she’s talking to the D.J. I see him smile and nod.

The crowd roars as singers with beautiful voices take a bow. I smile while thinking, “She can’t do this!”

“Let’s just sit here and watch. Better yet, it’s late; why don’t we just come back … tomorrow!” I begged with a gentle smile.

“It’s OK, mom,” she said reassuringly.

After what seemed like an eternity, she hadn’t been called. I thought “Great! The D.J. has a long lineup, or maybe he’s not taking her seriously.”

“She’s waited 10 minutes,” I informed the D.J., hoping we would be leaving.

“Oh, she will be up in about 10 minutes, is that OK?” he asked kindly.

He’s going to let her go up to sing?!?

In total desperation, I silently prayed. First, an Our Father. Then, as if praying the rosary, I prayed one Hail Mary, then a second. To my surprise, after praying the third Hail Mary, I felt total peace. I was enveloped in the grace of God. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Brigette got on stage and I was OK. I joined in the whistles, cheers and applause. She danced her heart out and the crowd loved her. Thank you, God!

Catholics honor and revere Mary because Jesus honors and reveres her. He gave her to us as Our Mother with His dying breath. “Behold your mother.” John 19:26

Jesus opened heaven for us: “Anyone who proves victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I have myself overcome and have taken my seat with my Father on his throne.” Revelation 3:21

Mary is in heaven, so we ask her to “intercede,” to “put in a good word” for us with Jesus. After all, Mary knew terror when she and Joseph nearly lost the God-child. “His mother said to him, ‘My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.” Luke 2:48

If we cooperate with His plan, we too can share heaven with Him. “And after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you to myself, so that you may be with me where I am.” John 14:2

To those who claim to love Jesus, but not His mother, I quote the following from Catholicbible.com: “How many people would like it if you said – ‘I love you, but I really can’t stand your mother.’ And how many people regularly put down their own mother to reinforce the fact that their Dad is No. 1? No one. Jesus called her “Woman” all of the time to let us all know that she is the new Eve (Adam named his mate “Woman”) whose yes to Gabriel overcame Eve’s yes to Lucifer.”

Terice Richards
Author: Terice RichardsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
I am a hospital chaplain with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. I have been writing professionally since 1981 as a radio and television news reporter, anchor and producer. I earned an M.Ed. from the University of Houston and a B.A. from UCLA. I am a certified teacher for Pre-K through 12th grade and completed the practicum for pastoral care ministry certificate from St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. I live with my family in Kingwood.

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