Mother’s Day is just around the corner! There is just something unique and mysterious about mothers. But I didn’t grow up thinking I was going to be unique and mysterious simply because I was a mom. In fact, it was just the opposite for me…
I was a Catholic Worker for several years as a young adult. While my college friends were getting pregnant, I was with a social justice movement marching for changes in society. As a group of young people, we fed and sheltered hundreds of homeless people. We performed the works of mercy on a daily basis, working from early in the morning until late at night.
So when I heard an elderly priest say, [quote]The highest calling for a woman is to be a mother,[/quote]
my ego stood up in protest. There I was, doing “big” things to make the world better.… “How dare he say, ‘the biggest thing is to be a mom,” I thought.
But that was before I became a mom. Now I know what that priest was trying to say. Motherhood is achingly hard and the only thing that lightens the load is a good husband and a regular prayer commitment.
To be a mom is so much more than going through nine months of uncomfortable pregnancy, and numerous hours of painful labor; being a mom is a “til death do us part” commitment. Moms watch over and protect. We guide and minister. We treat physical wounds and try to mend broken hearts. We attempt to answer the most bizarre questions. We pick up messes only to have them recreated again a few minutes later.
It’s the confusion that gets to me these days….I mean, moms are expected to know everything and sometimes…we just don’t. That’s hard. We want so much to help.
The truth is, when I helped the homeless I felt a deep sense of fullness. We were filled up by drinking from the chalice of “righteousness”; but moms are filled up by drinking from the chalice of “love.”
Our hope and strength as mothers comes from the Blessed Mother who understands our trials and tears. Mary’s words to the servants at the wedding feast in Cana are especially helpful to me. She told Jesus the celebrants were out of wine, but Jesus had said, “What concern is that to me? It is not yet My time.” (When our kids become young adults we can’t just say, “I’m ordering you to do it.”) But Mary trusts that the Good will be done, even though she can’t see into the future. She says to the servants five words that are filled with meaning: “Do whatever He tells you.”
Doubt, confusion, pain, fear, trust, confidence and wonderment—those are the ingredients in the Chalice of Love. But we are to “do whatever the Lord (and His mother) tells us.” We seem to walk in darkness at times. But the light is always on up in Heaven.
Pray for me. I’ll pray for you. May the Blessed Mother shower us all with JOY this Mother’s Day! Hurrah for Moms everywhere!