Birth and Beginnings – May and Mother’s Day
Happy Mother’s Day! May is a time of new beginnings and new birth, a time when we celebrate life and motherhood, a time for honouring not only our Blessed Mother but also our earthly mothers as well.
Mothers come in all shapes and sizes, and their presence is felt in all situations and circumstances. Every relationship, every family, every celebration, every story can trace its beginnings back to the gift of motherhood. If you think about it, motherhood is at the heart of all human experiences…in their joys and sorrows, tragedies and triumphs, work and rest, prayer, and petition.
The Vocation of Women (Celebrate Mother’s Day)
In his Apostolic Letter, Mulieris Dignitatem, St. John Paul II tells us that parenthood – and specifically, motherhood – is also at the heart of every woman’s vocation. Being a woman is inseparable from being a parent – a mother – because in our womanhood, we reflect the image of God, who is the Father and Parent of all.
But what about those women who choose the religious, single, or consecrated lay state in life? Or those mothers who face the heavy cross of infertility? And what about mothers who grieve the loss of children, either in the womb, in childbirth, in infancy or beyond? Does that somehow compromise or damage their vocations as mother?
The Gift of the Present Moment
Not at all! St. John Paul II assures us that motherhood is not only about giving birth to a child in the womb. It is more importantly about that total gift of self to others, of sharing love and life through the service we provide in our day-to-day lives. It’s about being fruitful in our grace-filled moments with others, one word at a time, one hug at a time, one breath at a time. It’s about showing up to the present moment and saying “yes” to the invitation to give birth to Christ in our lives, just as Our Blessed Mother did.
Balancing Mary and Martha
But saying “yes” to God’s call can be a delicate balancing act between the Martha in us called to serve, and our Mary, who needs to be loved and nurtured. That’s why it’s so important for all mothers to take the time to fill our jar of water at the well where Jesus is waiting. Jesus wants to meet each one of us, where we’re at right now, in the busyness and messiness of life, in our sorrows and losses, in our failings and imperfections.
It also means taking the time to take care of ourselves, to be our own best friend, to ask for what we need. Taking care of the Mary in us – self-care – is the beginning of other-care.
So, check out this list of resources, links, and uplifting messages that will help you live out your vocation of mother, whatever your circumstances or state in life:
? Finding it hard to be perfect in purpose without getting bogged down in perfectionism? Check out Danielle Bean’s book Momnipotent: The Not-So-Perfect Guide to Catholic Motherhood.
? Not sure how to live your vocation to motherhood as a single woman? Join Dr. Greg Bottaro as he explains 5 Qualities of the Feminine Genius that is at the motherly heart of all women.
? Are you a consecrated religious? Read A Reflection on Spiritual Motherhood by the Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart, and discover how to live out your motherly vocation in religious life.
And here’s a few resources for those mothers who have an extraordinary cross to carry:
? For the mother of sorrows who has lost a child in pregnancy…A Catholic’s Guide to Miscarriage.
? And, in all things, don’t forget to turn to our heavenly Mother, who is always ready to help us in our daily struggle to live out our vocation.
As Carey Campbell, Registered Psychotherapist, and mother of four, puts it… “At times I wonder if Mary was ever overwhelmed with her motherhood. I am sure that when Jesus stayed and preached in the temple, Mary must have been in shock. At the crucifixion she must have questioned herself, could she have done more? Hugged more? Loved more?
Mary knows how it is to love a child, how it feels to worry about a child, and the pain we suffer for a child. She understands us, and if we ask, she will accompany us in our wonderful and daunting task of being mothers.” (Read more about Carey here.)
Mary, Mother of all mothers, pray for us! Happy Mother’s Day!