Someone once asked me if I could have any job in the world, money was no object, what would it be? I immediately replied, a mother. It was obvious that she was shocked by my answer and I realized how countercultural my response truly was. There is honestly not a more incredible job than raising a child that is the incarnation of your love with your spouse, or even adopting a child that may not have had the chance to be loved genuinely and authentically from the moment of their first breath. Today, and all days, you deserve to be acknowledged and honored!
The more I learn about Theology of the Body and God’s true design for our lives, the relationships within, and our bodies, the more I see the infinite goodness that comes from holy marriages and families. St John Paul II opens my eyes to this message and blows me away by his insights on women, motherhood, and the relationship between husband and wife. I recently discovered that he beatified a twentieth-century Italian mother named Gianna Beretta Molla who had discovered mid-pregnancy that she had a large ovarian cyst. Despite recommendations from her doctor, she carried the baby full-term and died a few days after her child’s birth.
JPii said this of her:
A woman of exceptional love, an outstanding wife and mother, she gave witness in her daily life to the demanding values of the Gospel. By holding up this woman as an exemplar of Christian perfection, we would like to extol all those high-spirited mothers of families who give themselves completely to their family, who suffer in giving birth, who are prepared for every labor and every kind of sacrifice, so that the best they have can be given to others.
How true and beautiful! Mothers should be recognized, applauded, and appreciated for their countless hours of sacrificial love poured out for their children. You have the most important job in the world, raising holy men and women of Christ and forming them in His image. You wake up and serve your family day-in and day-out, while still finding the time to care for yourself. Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty says this of motherhood:
The Most Important Person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any Cathedral- a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body..
The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to bring new saints to heaven. Only a human mother can. Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation… What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?
I, myself, was given the gift of a saintly mother. Her service to us was ceaseless and her temperament was one that mirrored our Mother Mary’s. Where I responded with teenage, hormonal anger, she replied with firm patience. Being a nurse for over 35 years, and having a mother with Polio, love and kindness coursed through her veins and I am constantly challenged to replicate this kind of sacrificial love in all of my relationships. She is a beautiful woman who instilled sound morals, values, and the faith into our lives. The joy that I now have watching her, filled with energy even I lack, play with her grandchildren, being goofy and constantly singing them songs, is a treasure because I know that is how she must have interacted with us.
Mom, I love you so very much and adore your child-like innocence and ceaseless service. I wish I were able to see you face-to-face today and hug you until dad pulls me off. Kristy and Katie, I have loved watching you in this new chapter of your lives. I cannot wait to come home and play with your two (almost) new additions to your families and see how beautifully you are raising each of them. I love and miss you both!
To all the mothers out there that have inspired and challenged me for my future in this vocation, I thank you for your witness and hope that you feel the love and graces Christ showers upon you for raising up His Church. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
Yes, I creepily took these pictures of you from Facebook and was sad to discover that people (Eva, Mercedes, and Jan) don’t have pictures of themselves readily available for me to steal for this blog. Regardless, I love you and am amazed by each and every one of you!!