My Dear Friends,
“The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother.” –St. Thérèse of Lisieux
The quote above attributed to our patroness is so fitting when I think about the gift of our mothers. St. Thérèse lost her mother when she was only 4 years old, yet found spiritual motherhood in her older sisters and still had the grace to conceive this magnificent quote. There is nothing like the heart of a mother. We look to the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother and find an ocean of love. Those same loving waters flow through the hearts of our mothers who bore us in their wombs. Words do no justice when trying to describe the love a mother has for her child.
St. Thérèse’s mother, St. Zélie Martin, once said of motherhood: “Above all, during the months immediately preceding the birth of her child, the mother should keep close to God, of whom the infant she bears within her is the image, the handiwork, the gift, and the child. She should be for her offspring, as it were, a temple, a sanctuary, an altar, a tabernacle. In short, her life should be, so to speak, the life of a living sacrament, a sacrament in act, burying herself in the bosom of that God who has so truly instituted it and hallowed it, so that there she may draw that energy, that enlightening, that natural and supernatural beauty which He wills, and wills precisely by her means, to impart to the child she bears and to be born of her.”
I am always left in awe when I behold mothers. They sacrifice so much for their children. Sometimes sacrificing even their own lives so that their child may live. Just look at the example of St. Gianna Molla, an Italian pediatrician, who in 1962, gave her life so that the child in her womb may live. While she was pregnant, doctors discovered a tumor in her uterus near her baby. Gianna opted to only remove the tumor which would put her life in peril but save her child’s life. One week after her baby was born, despite the best efforts of her doctors, St. Gianna entered eternal life. Her husband and her children were present when she was canonized by St. John Paul II in 2004. When speaking about the sacrifice she was making, St. Gianna said, “Look at the mothers who truly love their children: how many sacrifices they make for them. They are ready for everything, even to give their own blood so that their babies grow up good, healthy, and strong.”
On this day, my heart also turns to mothers who have lost children: be it during pregnancy, infancy, or even as adults. No mother should have to bury their child. Yet, we accompany so many mothers who have had to go through the sorrows that our Blessed Mother did when she witnessed her son die. Mary’s heart was filled with the hope of the resurrection. Mother’s Day can be a difficult day for mothers who have lost children. Remember them in your prayers this day.
We also remember our mothers who have been called to the house of the Father. We ask that our Provident and Loving God reward our mothers in heaven for their sacrifices here on earth.
How beautiful is the heart of the mother! On this day, and every day, we thank God for this masterpiece born from his own heart. I look around our church every Sunday and see so many mothers holding their babies, see strollers filling up our side aisles, and hear the cries of their babies and I cannot help but thank God for those little lives that makes our church come alive during Mass. All because of the gift of our mothers who brought these little ones, these precious gifts, these tiny members of the Body of Christ, into our world. Thank you, moms! Enjoy your day, and may Mother Mary guide you and intercede for you as you embrace this heroic vocation.
Happy Mother’s Day!
God bless you all,