Thursday, May 5, 2011
A Mother Who Turns Groans To Grace
~Photo taken from our St. Mary's parish alcove~As we approach Mother's Day this weekend, I am inspired by those who echo my sentiments. As Mothers, we often feel alone with our inadequacies of Motherhood. Sometimes we don't know how to express it but we feel the groans within the depths of our souls. Am I really a "good" Mother? Will I ever be one of those Hallmark card Moms? I am thankful for writers like Ann from Holy Experience, Melody from Blossoming Joy, and Jaime from Lord, Make Me A Saint, who have the courage and gift to express the words that so many of us can never do. Sometimes I don't know where to begin!
In my own struggles, I may not know where to begin but I am grateful to God for teaching me where to end...With Him through the gift of His Mother, our spiritual Mother Mary, Most Holy. As Mother's Day approaches, I am reminded of this gift and flooded with gratitude that Our Lord saw fit to give us His Mother, a model of womanhood and motherhood, as he died on the Cross. "Behold your Mother" ~John 19:26-27.~ I try to hold her close and dear as a spiritual guide and companion through my own motherhood. Without her, I would surely fail to see the face of God.
Even with my relationship with Mary, I shamefully admit that it often takes many hours of darkness in my human weakness to remember who I need to fly to! Then it dawns on my ignorance that "never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help or sought her intercession, was left unaided." I am very dense sometimes. How often do we know what to do but we become paralyzed by our own negative thoughts? There are times when my groans squelch the silence of my heart where the peace of Christ lies waiting to be found. The evil one tries to rob me of my Easter joy. Miraculously, our Mother Mary still hears us. She flies to us like a mother who hears her child's cry in the night. As we allow her to help us and choose her motherhood time and time again, she delivers our needs straight to the Father. She helps us fulfill God's plan in our lives and begins working a masterpiece of grace in our souls; She turns our groans into grace.
GROAN: I have been struggling with my heaviest weight since my last couple of children. I am emarassed to say that it has come to the point where most of the clothes in my closet just don't fit. Mid-forties is not treating me well as far as metabolism! I only have 1 button up shirt that fits and no money in our budget to buy clothes for myself.
GRACE: The shirt that fits is blue, the color of Our Lady. I'd venture to say that Mary didn't have a closet, let alone a wardrobe. I am planning a better exercise routine to peresevere in better health for my God, through His mother, and my children, not out of vanity.
GROAN: I often feel inadquate to mother, educate my children at home, and educate them in the faith. I question whether they are learning all that they need to be or if I am living a good example. I am sometimes overwhelmed at this enormous task.
GRACE: Mary and Joseph educated and formed Jesus. My tasks are nothing in comparison. There couldn't have been a greater responsibility on this earth than to raise up and educate God himself. Things may not have been perfect, but they lived their lives for Him, the most important task at hand. God calls us all to different places and sometimes He calls us to places we least expect. I re-commit to my "Yes" to God, trusting in Him and keeping my will open to doing His.
GROAN: Being a "people person", I often miss friendships and regular fellowship with other ladies, especially due to geography and time that it takes to complete the mission of my vocation at home...It can be very lonely. My beloved is my best friend but there is nothing like having girlfriends...especially as we get older!
GRACE: Mary was often alone. From the day her friends abandoned her upon hearing of her pregnancy, to her flight to Egypt. She relied on God's grace and love to carry her through. Of course she had her beloved Joseph, her rock and faithful stronghold, praise God.
This is a Mother who turns groans into grace.
"She will comfort you in your discouragements, solace you in your fatigues, raise you after your falls, reward you for your successes. She will show you her Son, your God and your all. When your spirit within you is excited, or relaxed, or depressed, when it loses its balance, when it is restless and wayward, when it is sick of what it has, and hankers after what it has not, when your eye is solicited with evil and your mortal frame trembles under the shadows of the Tempter, what will bring you to yourselves, to peace and to health, but the cool breath of the Immaculate and the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon."
~Blessed John Henry Newman~