Spirituality for Today – May 2014 – Volume 18, Issue 10

Mother's Day

Rev. Mark Connolly

A photo of a mother walking with two childern

I would like to share a few thoughts with you about Mother's day. The thoughts are applicable to our Blessed Mother and your mother and mine.

This month we honor the woman who risked her life bearing us and spends her life bearing with us. Whatever gifts you give her, she deserves. She should be honored. She deserves every accolade.

The real inspiration for every Christian mother is Mary, the Mother of God. The stress, the tension, the anxieties she went through are different because of her circumstances, but still as real. She had the stress of living in a time where people wanted to kill her only son when he was an infant. So she took flight into Egypt. She lived in a country where her husband could not get work. She became a widow at an early age. Then saw her son nailed to a cross between two thieves.

One of the greatest works of Mary took place after the death and Resurrection of her son. The apostles at this time were devastated. Their leader, Christ, was gone. They were demoralized, they were discouraged, they were disillusioned. Mary took these twelve men who were so leaderless, united them, solidified them, all through one quality, the quality of bonding. Bonding solidified these twelve men, they were the recipients of her affections, her emotions, her leadership and through this bonding, this female guidance, this female leadership, sent them to the ends of the world preaching the gospel of Christ. Mary, through her bonding technique had a remarkable influence on the early Church foundation, the family of the Church. That quality of bonding is as important today in your family as it was in the family of the Mother of God.

Bonding, the unifying of feelings and emotions, the uniting of feeling and affections between members of the family that gives them strength and serenity and at the same time gives them direction and leadership. Now just look back in the history of the United States and recall how bonding took on such importance.

The great work of keeping the family together was done by the mother. From the time of the industrial revolution, the division of assignments was this - the father went into the mainstream of society. He earned the money that put food on the table and clothing on our backs. The mother stayed home. The mother was the bonder. She was the teacher, the guidance counselor, the confessor, the judge. She performed a hundred and one different roles at home while the husband was working away from the home. She, through her bonding abilities, solidified the family, gave it leadership and direction as Mary did her apostolic family. The mother was just about everything in the formation of the child's value system. There is no doubt that this assignment was not an easy one. But now this family scene has been changing. The mothers supplement the family income to defray horrendous educational bills. She, too, now has to take one the role of being a breadwinner. But after all is said and done, what happens to this quality of bonding that is so necessary, that has been so successful in the past. What happens to the children who don't get this bonding time? The emotional system of the family, the value system of the family, the spiritual system of the family, if both mother and father are not as available, who is going to do it? A variety of day care teachers and assistants? We all have to ask ourselves is the expression quality time as successful?

All of us have to examine our role concerning the family structure. There is no way in God's world that a mother who now goes into the mainstream can do what she once did. The time and the energy are not there. Husbands have to recognize the division that placed him in the work force and kept the wife home are long gone. Children have to recognize the fact that if they are going to help their parents, especially their mothers, with this quality of bonding, they have to also help more in the future than they did in the past. The role of bonding has to be shared by each member of the family according to age and ability. Mothers have difficult choices to make today. They need all the help they can get. Christ singled out his own mother for the role of bonding with the twelve apostles.

Gifts and presents should be given on this day, Prayers also. Mothers are to be honored on this day and rightly so. They are special. They are superior and our one wish and prayer is that they may always walk worthily in the vocation to which God has called them.