A blessed Mother’s Day to all of my readers, both to those who have born children and to the rest of us who marvel at the miracle of motherhood. Yesterday, after the Vigil Mass, I asked all the mothers present to come up for a red rose and a blessing. I was delighted by how many women in a relatively small congregation came up—about 65% of the congregation. I’ve given out roses before on Mother’s Day, but for some reason I saw these women with a new wonder this year. Each one was a flower herself! Unique, delicate, luminous, strong, graceful, and fragrant.
A man I greatly respect once told me that “every woman is sacred: no exceptions.” God has placed within every woman the capacity to bear new human lives, each endowed with an immortal soul, and each worth more than all the power and glory of the most glittering cities on earth. While many who claim to be “feminists” denigrate motherhood and childbearing as an intolerable limitation to the woman’s “freedom,” true feminism supports women in their sublime ability to nurture new lives.
Our Lady, of course, is the supreme example of motherhood: she who lost nothing of her virginal purity by bringing God into the world in human flesh. Mary, the mother of Him who did not abhor the Virgin’s womb, helps us overcome our fear of human flesh. Without the love of God, without a deep appreciation for all that God has created, and a deep faith in God Himself, we often find the carnal dimensions of marriage and childbearing repulsive. Mary changed God’s diapers, potty-trained Him, and cleaned up his vomit. I can understand why non-believers think we are nuts to believe that the Almighty God took on the disgrace of human flesh!
But God loves the flesh that he has created. He endows women with a maternal love that overcomes the more unpleasant aspects of their children’s bodies. Moreover, God elevates a mother’s natural love by faith in the Incarnate God, and through the love of His own Mother. We glorify God for giving us each our own mothers. Mine is beyond the grave now, but I talk to her several times a week. “Mom, I love you. Mom, I need your help on this one! Mom, pray for me.” May God’s blessing, and our deep gratitude, be upon all women, especially those God has given the gift of conceiving and bearing children.
The above comes from a May 8 posting on the blog of Father Joseph Illo.