During one of the few winter storms this past winter, I met a colleague after a pro-life Mass. He told me about his mom’s passing and the care that she required while ill, which he dutifully and lovingly provided. He spoke of the faith that they shared, especially at their final farewells.
The death of mothers and grandmothers—as well as their illnesses and decline—are painful times for the children that they conceived, carried, and cared for. In this and so many other ways, motherhood transcends cultures, ideologies, and incomes. Motherhood binds humanity. And so in this month of motherhood, we must examine our relations with our heavenly, earthly, and elemental mothers and, in every way possible, be attentive children—as the Fourth Commandment requires and my colleague exemplified.
We must be sons and daughters that care for our human mothers and fight for their lives when they become entangled in an increasingly complex medical industry. We must not succumb to the growing wave of “caring” euthanasia that is sweeping the Western world. We must protect all life, especially the women that said yes to it in the first place. We must passionately champion and celebrate the vocation and gift of motherhood in ways that challenge others to do likewise.
And of course, to do all this, we Catholics must remain close to our Blessed Mother—Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth. Our individual and parish devotions in May are a celebration of humanity’s role in salvation history—of Mary’s great, selfless Yes to God. And certainly, this Yes continues throughout human history: Through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, lives have been changed and addictions soothed; cruel, atheist empires have fallen; cultures that committed human sacrifice have converted and knelt before the Cross of Christ; and countless children have been saved from abortionists through prayer and the conversion of many a moms’ heart.
And so for our moms—here or passed on—and for our planet’s ecological health (which dictates the possibility and quality of life for future generations) let us keep the motherly meaning of May always in our hearts as we pray, “O God, you willed that, at the message of an angel, your word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant to your suffering people, that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with you. Through the same Christ our Lord.”