Sunday, May 13, 2012
It is so appropriate that we read of St. John's Gospel of love on Mother's day:
"As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Fathers commandments and do abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled. This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you. I will not now call you servants: for the servant knoweth not what his lord doth. But I have called you friends: because all things whatsoever I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you. You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that you love one another."(John 15:9-17)
It has been said that while both Mother and Father make for a stable home in which children can grow in, it is the mother who is described as the heart of the home. She is the fire giving warmth to family life, the light that gives the glow, and the heart beating the pulse of family life. "Mother" has the unconditional love which Jesus describes in the Gospel. A love not looking for returns, sacrificing itself for the good of the other, and looking always at what is best in her children. It is a love which understands, a love patient and enduring, a love believing and hoping. I smiled at a poster I saw once: "God is love, but God is in heaven, He instead created Mothers." Or to that effect--
It is very sad that in our day and age the gift of motherhood is challenged at best and belittled at worst. It is challenged because some women have moved their priorities away from the center of what truly matters. Careers have become the goal instead of bringing forth children. A wrong notion of gender equality has become a crusade instead of discovering within themselves the treasure inherent in being a woman, and therefore motherhood. A woman was created as a vessel of life, and with that, the virtues and characteristics needed to sustain that life. As much as it becomes a joke sometimes, a woman is wired differently than a man. if you doubt that, just think of the last argument you had with a man- brother, father, spouse or boyfriend! She thinks differently, feels differently, reasons differently, and loves differently. The feminine qualities of God- His tenderness, gentleness, self-effacing, self-sacrificing love and unconditional love, quiet strength and determination, empathy- are all embodied in two words, "Woman" and "Mother." This motherhood is expressed through physical maternity or spiritual maternity. Where will we all be if it wasn't for our mothers? We love our fathers, no doubt, but he is not Mom!
For those, like myself, who gave up the joys of motherhood for love of God and His Kingdom, we could not have offered Him any greater gift. It is because motherhood is a wonderful, singular gift, that it is worth offering to God. Since this is a gift not given to me, I exercise my motherhood in a different way. And God, because He is the one who asked for the sacrifice and can never be outdone in generosity, compensates and satisfies me in ways only He can do.
By God's grace, I still have my mother with us. It was from her that I first learned of the Faith. She was the one who trained us in devotions and piety. When I think of her, I think of the days we recited the Rosary together as a family after supper. She always made sure that we wore our new dresses to Church first before we wore them anywhere else. This was to bring home the fact that God should be first in everything. Her fidelity to family life, her forgetfulness of self, her hard work, were testimonies of "agape" that Jesus talked about in the Gospel. Her simple but deep spirituality animates her life. It is truly fitting that I ask God to bless her today and everyday of her life!