by Sr. Maureen Paul Angeline, O.Carm

As Mother’s Day approaches, I am once again amazed and awed by the courage and fortitude of mothers.  It is not an easy thing to take the leap of faith required to become a parent.  To trust God completely with not only one’s own future, but also that of a loved and cherished child, seems like an almost impossible task especially in a world where unemployment and under-employment threaten family financial viability and a world shaken by violence such as shootings in schools, bombs at large public events, and war.  And it is a world in which becoming a mother has become not only optional, but also socially devalued. 
Since the legalization of artificial contraceptives and abortion many women are choosing not to become mothers.  What a tragedy for the individual woman who never gets to experience the joys of motherhood, and what a tremendous loss for the child or children she might have birthed and reared…What a terrible loss for us all. 
I would like to see our culture change into one that places more value on family life, respects motherhood, and treasures the elderly.  I believe that with God’s help this could happen.  I feel that we all need to come together, pray for mothers, families, and the elderly, and do whatever is in our power to promote their well-being. 
Sometimes I think that our Blessed Mother would like to be portrayed as Our Lady of Perpetual Maternal Joy so that she could stand as a positive image of motherhood for the young women of today’s world.  When I was discerning my vocation to religious life, and feeling afraid to pursue the vocation that I have been given, I pictured her chiding me and saying, “My daughter, how silly you are being.  Look what I went through and yet it was worth all the suffering that I endured.  Don’t worry so much, just talk to my son about it and then do whatever he tells you to do.”   If young women called to the vocation of motherhood heeded Our Blessed Mother’s advice, their lives would be enriched and fulfilled by that special love that only mothers get to experience; the love of a mother for her child.    
Motherhood is a great vocation and one that we ought to recognize and hold in high esteem.  Hopefully in the new age of Catholicism, a stronger family bond will become the norm and will generate increasingly family-oriented cultural values.  This is what I am praying for: 
            O Mother of Jesus, our Blessed Mother
            Cover all mothers and their families with your mantle of protection. 
            Let your love envelope them and shield them from corruption and from all the evils of the world. 
            Provide for their needs both spiritual and physical. 
            Intercede for them with your son to grant them abundant graces. 
            Bless all mothers with maternal joy and all families with unity and peace. 
            And let all children be their mothers’ delight and consolation in this life and their eternal reward    in heaven. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Sister Maureen Paul for such a loving and profound testimony on the sacredness and beauty of motherhood. We need so much prayer today for our families and their holiness, and for the appreciation of the great and beautiful gift of cooperating with God in bringing a new life and soul into this world and eternity. And that title....Our Lady of Perpetual Maternal Joy....you definately have something there! I share these stories of you all on our parish facebook page, which has at times 4 to 5,ooo visitors each week and you should see the amount of people that read them. So don't be surprised someday if you hear someone refer to the Blessed Mother with that title! I also loved your prayer so very much. God bless you also in your spiritual motherhood, for you are a mother of souls...such a great and awesome responsibility and joy like no other. Happy Mother's day to you and all the dear Sisters, and especially Mother Mark. God bless you and I pray for you all every day, especially the rosary!