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IHS Third Sunday after Easter—12 May AD 2019 Mothers' Day Ave Maria!

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Saint Peter tells us that “The will of God is that you silence the ignorance of foolish men by doing good.”[1] Perhaps the greatest good that can be is in the raising up of new generations of good people!

May is the month of our Blessed Mother, and today is Mother's day, and so congratulations, first of all to all of the ladies of our parish who are mothers, and congratulations once again to those who are grandmothers. I was happily reminded a number of years ago that there are people who are not biological (or even adoptive) mothers, who have stepped in where the proper mother was unwilling or unable to perform the duties of nurturing children—quite likely this includes a number of men. I hope that all of you will enjoy your day.

And, I hope that I don't really have to remind you—those of you whose mothers are still living—so be sure and stop by or call your mother to tell her how much you love her. And lets all pray during this Mass for the souls of those mothers who are no longer with us.

Make no mistake about it, motherhood is a vocation—a very important one—one which, indeed, shapes the society in which we all live, whether we have children of our own or not. Certainly, many of the evils we are experiencing in society today are directly attributable to the war that the devil has been waging on the institution of the family, and particularly to the war waged on motherhood. Perhaps the greatest lie of the 20th century is the lie that a woman who raises her children is somehow incomplete if she has not also made a career for herself in the business world.

There is no good alternative to the nurture of a loving mother. A child may be safe in day care, and may learn many things in a good school, but that is not enough. It takes a mother (and a father) to instill good behavior, and manners, and piety, and respect for others. It takes love to learn love, so that a child may some day grow up to be a good mother or father.

Motherhood is not an easy vocation. It may involve sleepless nights, and hard work to keep things in order. It often involves a measure of self denial, and sometimes a measure of boredom or longing for things more exciting. The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but a good mother must not allow herself to see that; and she may have added difficulties caused by a husband that doesn't fully acknowledge his own responsibilities. In spite of any and all of these things she holds things together.

It is altogether appropriate for Mother's Day to fall during May each year, when the Church directs our thoughts to the Blessed Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the saintly Pope Leo XIII put it, a little over a hundred years ago: “The Holy Family exemplified in the highest degree those praiseworthy qualities of ordinary home life which spring from the mutual exercise of charity, from holiness of character, and from the expression of filial devotion.... Mothers have an outstanding example of love and modesty, of the spirit of submission and perfect trust in the most holy Virgin, Mother of God.”[2]

But, Mary, of course, is more than just a model mother to be imitated by the women of today. She is and should be the patroness of everyone engaged in the raising of a family. Certainly, she who raised her own Divine Son, and who dwells with Him today, body and soul, is a constant source of intercession for all of the graces needed to persevere in our own family life. It is said that as our Lord hung on the Cross and confided His Mother and Saint John to their mutual care, He confided all of us, as sons and daughters, to the care of Our Lady: "Behold thy Mother.”[3]

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners.. .” Having Mary for a patroness means more than simply having her picture in the bedroom or the kitchen; more than owning a pretty rosary that stays in the drawer with the stockings. Having Mary for a patroness means going to her regularly, engaging her in the conversation of prayer; perhaps making the effort to attend her Masses on Saturdays, and making actual and frequent use of those rosary beads.

Our “Lord Jesus Christ, our mediator with the Father, has appointed the most blessed Virgin, [His] mother to be our mother also and our mediatrix.”[4] Those of you who are practicing the all important vocation of motherhood—and indeed all of us who live in this world—can and should bring our needs to Mary, so that she can ask them of her Son.

“A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she has brought forth the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”[5]

May God bless all of you who are mothers; and may He bless all of us who are devoted to His Blessed Mother, and who is also our Mother.


[1] Epistle:1 Peter ii: 11-19

[2] Apostolic Letter of Pope Leo XIII, Néminem fugit. Matins of the Holy Family

[3] Matthew xix:27

[4] Collect, Mass of Our Lady, Mediatrix….

[5] Gospel: John xvi: 16‑22

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