Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thanks to Our Mothers: Past, Present, and Future

This Sunday in the United States we celebrate our mothers.  Webster, Allison, and I wish a Happy Mothers Day to all of you.  Mom, we couldn't have done it without you!

The portrait here is by Mary Cassatt and is entitled Breakfast in Bed. I have fond memories of being cuddled by my mother and of seeing my wife cuddle my children like this as well. And I found these thoughts on the importance of motherhood from one of our favorite Catholic authors. Once again, G.K. Chesterton hits the nail right on the head.

It is not difficult to see why … the female became the emblem of the universal … Nature …surrounded her with very young children, who require being taught not so much anything as everything. Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren’t. It would be odd if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist. 

Now if anyone says that this duty of general enlightenment … is in itself too exacting and oppressive, I can understand the view. I can only answer that our race has thought it worth while to cast this burden on women in order to keep common-sense in the world. … How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.

And here is a thanksgiving prayer I found for my mother (and all mothers),

Gratitude for my Mother

Dear Lord, today I turn to you to give you thanks for my mother. With your own gift of life, she bore me in her womb and gave me life. She tenderly, patiently cared for me and taught me to walk and talk. She read to me and made me laugh. No one delighted in my successes more; no one could comfort me better in my failures. I am so grateful for how she mothered me and mentored me, and even disciplined me. 

Please bless her, Lord, and comfort her. 

Help her loving heart to continue to love and give of herself to others. Strengthen her when she is down and give her hope when she is discouraged. 

Most of all, Lord, on this Mother's Day, give my mother the graces she most needs and desires today. I ask you this, in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior forever and ever.

To all mothers past, present, and future, thanks for everything!