Mother's Day Reflections

 I'm excited to have my amazing friend Kelly share her thoughts on motherhood with us today!  I was blessed to have Kelly enter my life a few years ago when I was going through a lot of transitions.  When I met her I felt like I had met a "kindred spirit".  As I try and write this "intro" I am really at a loss for words to describe this dear woman.  Since we met we have taken turns moving all across the country, but I have spent many hours on the phone receiving comfort, counsel, and peace from her.  In my darkest hour she has been there for me.  Kelly is a source of inspiration and encouragement to me, and I hope she will be to you too.       

      May is a month for the celebration of motherhood. We have on the second Sunday of this month, of course, evidence that even the secular world can and does acknowledge all that mothers do. Additionally, the Catholic Church has ordained that the entirety of the month of May be a time to reflect on and honor the exalted motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, without whom no other motherhood can have meaning. To be more clear, it is because of the obedience, sacrifice, and charity of this greatest of all mothers, that the life of any mother or child has eternal and significant meaning. I cannot reflect on my own motherhood without reflecting on hers. In and through this woman, the Theotokos, or God bearer, the Word made Flesh comes to dwell among us. As God desired Mary to be His means of coming to man, so he desires still that she be our means of coming to Him.
        Jesus saw his own mother, and the disciple standing near whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son". Then he said to the disciple, "Behold your mother". And from that hour, he took his mother into his family. (Jn 19: 26-27)
        “He took his mother into his family.” Let us imitate this most beloved of Apostles. My chief concern as a mother is that my children be close to their Savior. That can be an intimidating goal. Honestly, I will never be even close to a perfect mother. But I am consoled. My children already have a perfect mother. This is something that it does me much good to reflect on during the day: my children are not my own. Not only do they belong first to our Father in Heaven, but they belong to their spiritual mother. Mary gives birth to all who desire the Kingdom of her Son, as her Firstborn went before us in all things. My little ones, at every stage of their lives, belong to the Queen of Heaven. How good God is to give them such a mother!
And how tenderly and with what great dignity should these sons and daughters of the Queen be handled!  This is a lesson I have been so slow to learn. How wrong it would be not to teach them all virtue, according to their dignity! I can picture our Lady... never angry, gently correcting, generously rewarding, justly praising, kindly admonishing, watchfully protecting, wisely guiding, sharing all grief, sharing all joy, and keeping these things in her heart. She is our model in all things, but especially in “keeping these things in her heart.” It is this quiet, reflective side of motherhood we so often forget to observe. Truly, our children are a mystery to us. Their lives unfolding in our hands, we try to get to know them, to learn to interact well with their temperaments, to correct their vices, to nurture their strengths, but in the end we really have no idea of or control over God’s vocation for them. But we can ponder the mystery of their lives in our hearts and cover them in our prayers.
Motherhood requires abandonment and surrender, in imitation of our Lord, in imitation of our Lady. I am quite certain that is part of God’s plan - that we as mothers learn to surrender to Him that which is most dear to us. As Mary stood at the foot of the cross, I am sure that all appeared so bleak. Yet she is our Lady of Hope. At some point our little ones will not be so little anymore, and as hard as abandonment and surrender is, in this we will maintain our peace: trust in the Lord. Look to our Lady. With a capacity greater than we shall ever possess, she who faithfully witnessed the death of her Son and our Savior, loves our children and desires their salvation. My children belong to her. She can say to her Son, who was always obedient to her, “Poor out your grace upon this child of mine,” and He can not deny her request.  As I said, I am not a perfect mother. I can try to imitate our Lady, but will and do fail often. No woman ever raised a saint on her own merit; but by the grace of God alone is this done. In this month of May, let us have recourse to the Mother of the Most High, and pray that she will intercede for us as mothers and for our children, showering us all in the grace of her Son, and uniting us to Him in spite of ourselves.
Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to Thy protection, implored Thy assistance, or sought Thy intercession, was left unaided.  Inspired by  this confidence, we fly unto Thee, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother;  to thee we come;  before thee we  kneel, sinful and sorrowful.  O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in Thy clemency hear and answer them.  Amen

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