CSD Book Club – 33 Days to Morning Glory (Week 6 of 7)
Ode to Motherhood
Mary’s new motherhood is not some vague or abstract sort of thing. It’s concrete and personal. And even though it’s universal, it’s also intensely particular. Mary is your mother. She is my mother. In this light, John Paul thinks it’s significant that Mary’s new motherhood on Calvary is expressed in the singular, “Behold, your son” not “Behold, your billions of spiritual children.” The Pope gets to the heart of it when he says, “Even when the same woman is the mother of many children, her personal relationship with each one of them is of the very essence of motherhood.” In short: Mary is uniquely, particularly, personally your mother and my mother, and she doesn’t lose us in the crowd. – 33 Days to Morning Glory, p. 99 (Last paragraph on Day 26)
Mary is my mother. This is no small statement. Think about what it means to be a mother. Think about what it means to have a mother. Of all the vocations in the world, none is so universally necessary as that of mother.
There is not enough paper on earth to record all the prayers, mortifications and sacrifices made by mothers. Sometimes it takes a while, but most children, at some point in their lives, recognize the complete gift of self their mothers made for them. I didn’t wake up until I had children of my own, but now I tread back and forth – depending on the day – between thanking my mother for her sacrifices, and apologizing profusely for all the pain I caused her over the years!
Cardinal Josef Mindszenty describes the significance of a mother in his beautiful book, aptly titled, The Mother:
“…Mother works in the home, but her quiet labor radiates upon the entire nation. She passes on the entire treasure of culture from generation to generation. She builds up the future, and not merely the future of this earth; nay, her task reaches out into eternity, to the very heart of God.
Without her there can be no family, no home. Without her, the strongest forces of human strength will disappear. Without her, goodness, love and mercy will vanish. She is the sturdy staff upon which the weary pilgrim supports himself as he plods the dusty road of life. She is the unknown soldier of common everyday life. The hand that rocks the cradle holds the helm of the world. Everything that lives and dies on earth has its origin in mother.”
If we, who are shackled by the concupiscence left behind after original sin, can desire good things and sacrifice for our children, imagine how much more perfect the desires and how infinitely passionate the intercession of Mary, our Immaculate Mother! How can we not turn to her for all our needs? More than the best earthly mother, she seeks only heaven for us and will lead us all the way, provided we hold her hand.
As you ponder the vocation of motherhood, I’ll leave you with one last powerful message, also from Cardinal Mindszenty:
The Most Important Person
on earth is a mother. She
cannot claim the honor of
having built Notre Dame
Cathedral. She need not. She
has built something more
magnificent than any
cathedral – a dwelling for an
immortal soul, the tiny
perfection of her baby’s
body…The angels have not
been blessed with such a
grace. They cannot share in
God’s creative miracle to bring
new saints to Heaven. Only a
human mother can. Mothers
are closer to God the Creator
than any other creature; God
joins forces with mothers in
performing this act of
creation…What on God’s
good earth is more glorious
than this: to be a mother?
Announcing our Next Book:
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Beginning June 11)
This seemed like the perfect summer read – humorous but poignant; light but profound.
NOTE I: I haven’t forgotten my survey requesting votes for upcoming books. It just took a while to get around to calculating them all. The following books were in the top three:
- 33 Days to Morning Glory/True Devotion to Mary
- Intro to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales
- The Way of Perfection by Saint Teresa of Avila
While I received zero votes for the Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur, there has been enough discussion about it in recent posts (mine and others) to merit a second look – also, it’s one of my favorite books, so I’ve decided to trump the process:).
Following is a list of upcoming books (as always, subject to change):
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (approx. 6 weeks)
- Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur (approx. 10 weeks)
- Intro to the Devout Life by Saint Fancis de Sales (approx. 12 weeks)
- Way of Perfection by Saint Teresa of Avila (approx. 10 weeks)
NOTE II: Your mind is not playing tricks on you – I changed the amount of Weeks for 33 Days from “6″ to “7.” Originally, I planned to let our Consecration ride into the sunset after my post this week – figuring we’d make our consecration on Friday and be ready to begin the next book on Tuesday. But now that we’re here, I’ve decided that plan would fail to give our consecration it’s due attention! This is no small commitment we’re making!!! Next week I will post a brief conclusion to our study on Mary, and will leave lots of room for discussion regarding what this consecration has meant to you, whether you felt properly prepared and how this process has affected your relationship with The Blessed Mother or her Son.
1. Three cheers for mothers! Please share a favorite inspirational story about your mother, or a mother figure in your life.
2. Open discussion: Feel free to comment on any topic from this past week’s reading.
Reading Assignment: Day 31-end of Day of Consecration
For More Information on the Book Club: http://spiritualdirection.com/blog/csd-book-club
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