The Happy Priest Reflects on the Greatness of Motherhood
Mary, the mother of Jesus, our Blessed Mother, is the true model of motherhood
Motherhood is a high calling. What can replace the love of a mother and a grandmother? The love, guidance and influence they provide to their children are distinct and invaluable. All mothers who wish to be true to their high calling need only look to the woman who became the greatest mother of all. Born into humble surroundings, she was called by God to be the mother of the Son of God.
George Washington once said, "My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her."
Abraham Lincoln spoke similar words when he said, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother."
Unfortunately, many people in our society would not agree with these great men who had great mothers. Today, many think that their lives have no meaning unless they are employed in the workplace; thus only in this way they regard themselves useful for society. They consider the role of a stay home mom to be a waste of time.
However, although the circumstances of some women oblige them to work, today many more married women are finding that staying home and raising their children is the right way to go.
Motherhood is a very high calling. What relationship can ever replace the love of a mother and a grandmother? It is essential for women to realize that the love, guidance and influence they provide to their children are distinct and invaluable.
Another great man who became a great president was Theodore Roosevelt. Let us listen to what he had to say about the importance of motherhood.
"Into the woman's keeping is committed the destiny of the generations to come after us. In bringing up your children you mothers must remember that while it is essential to be loving and tender it is no less essential to be wise and firm.
Foolishness and affection must not be treated as interchangeable terms; and besides training your sons and daughters in the softer and milder virtues, you must seek to give them those stern and hardy qualities which in after life they will surely need. Some children will go wrong in spite of the best training; and some will go right even when their surroundings are most unfortunate; nevertheless an immense amount depends upon the family training.
If you mothers through weakness bring up your sons to be selfish and to think only of themselves, you will be responsible for much sadness among the women who are to be their wives in the future. If you let your daughters grow up idle, perhaps under the mistaken impression that as you yourselves have had to work hard they shall know only enjoyment, you are preparing them to be useless to others and burdens to themselves.
Teach boys and girls alike that they are not to look forward to lives spent in avoiding difficulties, but to lives spent in overcoming difficulties. Teach them that work, for themselves and also for others, is not a curse but a blessing; seek to make them happy, to make them enjoy life, but seek also to make them face life with the steadfast resolution to wrest success from labor and adversity, and to do their whole duty before God and to man. Surely she who can thus train her sons and her daughters is thrice fortunate among women."
There is no doubt that motherhood is a very high calling. But, to whom can mothers look as the real model of motherhood? Today's modern culture offers many role models through television, movies and women's magazines. However, often these role models are either all together wrong or they offer a very limited and unrealistic view of true motherhood.
All mothers who wish to be true to their high calling need only look to the woman who became the greatest mother of all. Born into humble surroundings, she was called by God to be the mother of the Son of God. She affirmed her obedience to the call of God and lived out her vocation throughout her entire life. Mary, the mother of Jesus, our Blessed Mother, is the true model of motherhood.
"It can thus be said that women, by looking to Mary, find in her the secret of living their femininity with dignity and of achieving their own true advancement. In the light of Mary, the Church sees in the face of women the reflection of a beauty which mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable: the self-offering totality of love; the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest sorrows; limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work; the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement" (Blessed John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater).
One aspect of Mary's life that has particular meaning and inspiration for many mothers today is the profound suffering that she endured during the passion of Our Lord. Stabat Mater. Mary stood at the foot of the cross.
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