Reflection on Mothering Sunday 2012
Like many others I visited a grave on Mothers’ Day. This was my first year never to buy a card nor a gift but my mum was blessed with a long life, 86 years. There are others who lost their mums when they were very young and missed out on so much. I am conscious too of the many women who were never granted the blessing of motherhood or those who were unable to go through a full-term pregnancy for one reason or another.
The commercial hype which surrounds Mothers Day and which seems to increase every year is painful for a lot of women.
The feelings associated with “motherhood”, that pure unconditional love, tenderness, gentleness, life-long commitment, especially to a child with a disability, are not the monopoly of women. I look at my husband and I know that his love is as deep as mine for our two daughters and granddaughter. I see my brothers with their own children and there is no denying the depth of their parenting instinct. They are better men by being fathers. I think of all those priests who would have made wonderful dads but who were denied that choice. I respect and admire them for it though I am against mandatory celibacy.
Of course many mothers fail and many of us have regrets and we vow never to repeat the mistakes of past generations until we realise and appreciate only too late how much our mothers and grandmothers sacrificed for us.
And what about “Mother” Church? I think of this title somewhat ironically because there has been such a dearth of “mother” –like qualities , compassion, tolerance for differences, understanding of “otherness”, pure unconditional love as shown by He who is our founder and modelled by His Blessed Mother.
There is a “mother” in each one of us but let’s not give into commercialisation so much in future years. A smile, a hug, an “I love you”, a “thank you” is priceless and costs no money. The knowledge that one’s child is safe, well and happy, loving God and their neighbours and able to do productive work, is enough reward for any mum. My own greatest blessing has been watching my daughter blossom into an amazing mummy, loving, selfless, thoughtful, gazing in daily wonder at each new little feat of her 17 month old toddler, a wunderkind indeed (as are all babies!) and blooming in beauty as she cares for the new child in her womb. She is also blessed in having the most loving and thoughtful husband by her side. How grateful I am to God for that gift and how much more am I aware of the ache of childlessness, the pain of being let down by a biological parent or the deep hurt of feeling shut out from a heavenly Father’s love because those who took a vow to serve Him failed in their duty to model that love. It is never too late. The Prodigal Father/Mother is the perfect example of a parent, running with open arms to welcome home one who was lost. That image is for all of us, those who have been blessed with the gift of being mothers or fathers and those who have not. On that note, I just want to suggest one of many good organisations who will let you sponsor a child in a poor country. www.plan-uk.org
Mothering Sunday is a day to celebrate kindness, kindness to others and to ourselves.