By ERIC GIRTEN
THE CATHOLIC KITCHEN
Nothing I write here today can fully express the depth of my regard for all of the Catholic mothers out there who fully embrace your calling. As a son/father/spouse/brother/Catholic, I can paint with broad strokes an incomplete portion of the masterpiece of motherhood; and yet, it is not enough to give proper weight to this sacred institution.
Words escape me when I try to contemplate a world without motherhood. Just try for a moment to imagine a world where infants are whisked away at birth to be raised by a business or facility of some sort. Think of the basic spiritual and social fabric that would be shredded if this were to occur.
We all know that life is not perfect; and even in the best of circumstances, heroic motherhood is an all-encompassing gift of the self to another. It is not a title, or a job, or a word, but rather a metamorphosis or a living story that will continue to write itself into eternity.
And not only do I hold the mothers in my life, and those others who have embraced this gift, with the highest regard, but I am also keenly aware of women who have never given birth to a child but who rightly hold this title of motherhood. I think of women who have adopted children into their lives or fostered children in need of stability, love and family. I think of aunts or sisters who behold the ideal of motherhood and care for loved ones. I think of women who have vowed their lives to Christ and who hold such depth of love for even perfect strangers that they have rightly earned that highest of titles … mother.
My brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, we know that motherhood (and fatherhood) is so much more than the consummation, gestation and birthing process. (Please note here that I am not disregarding nor diminishing these stages in any way.) But the lifelong giving of oneself to another; to spend one’s life for the sake of another; to decrease in a way that another might increase; to feed, clothe, teach, love, comfort, reprove, clean, heal, protect, and nurture a child of God transcends the physical and becomes a heavenly charge.
So to all of you holy Catholic mothers who daily pour yourselves out in the name of Jesus Christ, I pray that you will hold steadfast in the face of those factions and forces who know that they must break you to breakthrough.
Dear holy mothers, I am offering up this month of Ma(r)y in prayer and fasting that each and all of you may be strengthened in the Holy Spirit to not only hold the sacred ground you occupy in your families, schools and workplaces but to be refreshed such that you will be able to claim new ground in the name of, and for the glory of, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.