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


Rev. Raymond Petrucci

A photo of a lighthouse

Hanging on a cross, near death seems an odd place and a sad state in which a man might review a "things to do" list. From that very location and from that very condition, one, who was God and man, took measures to make sure that his mother would be taken care of when he returned to the Father. What overwhelming effect is wrought by the love of a mother! The saving work of Jesus was a public affair and his life was consumed in reaching out to that public, but, in the background, stood the sure and lasting foundation of a mother's love. Mary would receive the full measure of a son's gratitude and love in return.

Let us look at another mother. Her home was occupied by an abusive husband, a difficult mother-in-law, and a wayward son. These circumstances would try the spiritual, psychological, and physical well-being of any wife and mother. Too often, these words describe the households of today. This particular mother's home, however, existed nearly seventeen hundred years ago. Monica, the only Catholic in the home, prayed continuously and insatiably for the conversion of her family. Before she was to depart from this earth, Monica would see the fulfillment of her years of tireless prayer. The culmination of her prayerful wishes and of God's grace would come for her son, Augustine through the instrumentality of Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. As we know, all of these names now have the term, "saint" before them. As Monica's days on this earth were reaching their end, she said to her son, "Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled." One can only imagine how the example and the presence of our Blessed Mother strengthened and sustained Saint Monica as a mother of prayer.

The mothers of this century share the same human wishes for their children as the mothers of the past. Not all mothers are good mothers, not all mothers have the capacity to be nurturers and to be expressions of all the best motherly qualities, but the task of being mothers remain. At this point, praise needs to be bestowed on a generation of grandmothers and of great-grandmothers who have had to take the major responsibility for raising their children's children. An ideology of narcissism, entitlement, and irresponsibility has afflicted so many in today's society that it foretells a dark and dreary future. It is said that optimism is found in the reality that there are in the world good people and there is hope that the influence of good people may turn the culture around. It must be so! The alienation, brokenness, and self-centeredness of those who will become future grandparents admit to the fact that the support of the grandparents of today won't be there. Let us hope that the tide turns and faith, responsibility, and morality will return in force.

In life the roles of mothers are as expansive as life itself. The experiences of their children live in them. When one considers the amount of focus and energy needed to be successful solely in one's career, juggling work, social requirements, personal needs, along with the demands of parenting is a most daunting task. The prayers of a mother often are spoken in smiles, sighs, groans, and tears.

When god thought of mother, He must have laughed with satisfaction, and framed it quickly – so rich, so deep, so divine, so full of soul, power and beauty was the conception.

Henry Ward Beecher

The realities of motherhood lend themselves to many a metaphor. A mother is a comforter, a teacher, a doctor, a counselor, a guardian angel, and so much more. A mother also is a lighthouse, rockbound and steadfast, shining its light across both calm and rough waters to provide hope and direction to sons and daughters upon the seas.

A Blessed Mother's Day!