Mothers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, temperaments, sanities, and the list goes on and on. To be brutally honest, my mother and I are not close and our relationship is painful and strained. I’ve never pretended that things were good; I’ve always been mature enough to know that she wasn’t a healthy person to be around, and I’m the person I am today because of her and how she raised me. I’ve gotten my best and worst traits from her, and although I’ve tried my whole life to be something entirely different from her, I once in a while find myself saying the same kind of mom phrases she used to use. It’s taken me a lifetime of prayer and healing, but I’m a stronger, more resilient person thanks to her. One thing she did instill in me is a foundation in my Catholic faith. And although I discovered my relationship with God and my faith life for myself later in high school, she was the one making sure Christ was at the center of my life. Moms and mother figures are good like that; many center us on faith and give us some moral compass to live by.
Fast forward to three years ago, when I became a mother myself. My eyes were opened to the incredible highs and lows that come with a newborn. Then he grew into a toddler, and now he’s a fully operational human boy with thoughts and feelings and opinions of his own. Vincent is only three, but seeing life through his eyes and being his mom is the very best feeling I could have ever asked for. My whole perspective on what being a parent means and how I do that on a daily basis has filled my whole being at times. It’s wild to think that I’m a mom sometimes, and I wonder how many others pause to consider that too. From the moment of conception, we’re caring for and nourishing a human person within us. We were designed exactly as God intended: to be able to do this and withstand the pain and changes that not only our bodies go through but also our minds and hearts as well. God has a plan and motherhood is part of so many of our journeys in life.
Even from a preschool teacher perspective, I never quite knew how it would feel to have a child of my own to raise and nurture and be able to introduce to God. This happens at dinner when we say Grace together; he knows the Sign of the Cross and has learned the prayer. This happens at church on Sundays when we talk about the colors, the statues, and the Cross. Vinny asks about the bells and knows how to say “Peace” when it’s time to share in the Sign of Peace. He knows that when it’s “our turn,” we can walk up the aisle for something extra special in the Eucharist. Just this past Sunday, he began to venture past the priest and onto the altar…which made the bishop (of course) burst into laughter. Mortified, I brought him back to our spot and hugged him so tight, knowing he will only be this little for a short time and that one day he might even find himself on the altar as a priest. God has a plan; meanwhile, we just wait and see what happens.
Moms suffer the greatest heartaches, the greatest of joys, and everything imaginable in between. This Mother’s Day, let’s give each other grace. Moms nowadays are inundated with information and opinions and media and choices and advice, and we’re thrown into doing so much with very little help sometimes. Let’s say a little prayer for each other for strength, courage, and patience. Mary, Jesus’ mother and the greatest of all models to look up to when getting through our day-to-day life, is someone we can turn to and ask for intercession. Our Blessed Mother, even in her perfection, still somehow experienced similar feelings to those that we feel as mothers. I’d like to think that because Mary and so many other women were great mothers, I can be too.
Finally, join me in praying a rosary for mothers. God loves all of his children; it’s our job to meet our sisters and brothers on this life’s mission and be an apostle to them on the road. As you pray these prayers, take a moment in your humility; put aside anger, resentment, stress, and distractions. On each bead, pray for a mother you know by name or someone you’ve never met. Consider praying for…
…the mother who is anxious.
…the mother who has suffered loss of a child(ren).
…the mother who is estranged from her own mother.
…the single mother.
…the mother who feels alone in her motherhood.
…the mother who has had miscarriage(s).
…the mother who is scared.
…the mother who is experiencing homelessness.
…the mother who is in an abusive relationship.
…the mother who has had an abortion.
…the mother who has healthy children.
…the mother who is sad.
…the mother who is worried.
…the mother who is the breadwinner.
…the mother who has addictions.
…the mother who forgets about her own self-worth.
…the mother who is struggling.
…the mother who is without faith.
…the mother who is doubting herself.
…the newly-pregnant mother.
…the mother who is working.
…the mother who stays at home.