Mothers are a sturdy bunch. In fact, motherhood is not for wimps. We all had one, and it is easy to overlook the role and influence our mother had in our lives. While there is a plethora of “how to books” and plenty of unsolicited advice, there is not much that can adequately prepare a woman to be a mother. It is on-the-job training, in a sometimes-hostile environment, with natives who don’t speak the language, where one must rapidly adapt while grossly sleep deprived. After all, children are beginners at life outside the womb.
Mothering is often the brunt of jokes or looked down upon. While it is important to laugh, to be laughed at is contrary to the dignity of that noble calling. In this disordered culture, their contribution is looked upon as a less important in the scheme of possibilities and careers for women. Somehow raising the next generation, influencing the future of society, and forming healthy, happy, hardworking citizens is “demeaning” for women. Nothing is further from the truth. Yet, it requires heroic virtue, cosmic patience, and supernatural strength for this work.
Nothing can turn a mom to mush faster than an inconsolable, eight-pound, un-swaddled miniature version of herself. Her work does not often produce ripe fruit for years.
I am curious why society has disdain for such a critical contribution to the good of humanity. Then again, the devil doesn’t trouble himself with things that are not a threat. Attacking marriage and the family, distorts the Image of God who made us. Deluding and engrossing men and women into pursuits far worthier of their time and effort, than “just having kids.”
Yesterday was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I began to write my thoughts at two am having every intention of posting it by eight am on the feast day. Clearly, I am now a day late and a dollar short. Life happens and yet the reminder is valuable and so I beg you to continue to read on.
Under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary is the Patroness of the Americas. This is one of the many titles of our Blessed Mother. Like any loving and caring mom, she is active and present in the lives of her children, encouraging and imploring them to turn from evil and leading them to her Son. At Guadalupe she appeared as mestiza in this her first appearance in Mexico to Juan Diego. It was on the feast of the Immaculate Conception which was December nineth in the calendar at the time. It was later moved to the eighth as we know it today.
“Juanito, dearest Juan Diego. Juanito, my dearest son, where are you going?
Know and understand well, you my most humble son, that I am the ever-virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth.”
Notice the tenderness in which Mary addresses Juan Diego in this short segment of her greeting.
The Bishop asks for a sign from Juan Diego and he delays for a bit due to taking care of his sick uncle. Mary finds him. You cannot hide very long from your mama. She always knows where to find us. Mary inquired why he had not done what she asked. He replies to her that the Bishop wants a sign.
On the fourth visit she says in part, “Hear me and understand well, my little son, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection?… My dear little son, this diversity of roses is the proof and the sign which you will take to the bishop…”
The “sign,” was a variety of flowers not native to the region and Castilian roses all blooming in the dead of winter on Tepeyak hill, modern day Mexico City. Juan Diego picks them placing them in his tilma. Mary, herself arranges the flowers for him. He heads to see the Bishop.
As Juan Diego opens his tilma the flowers fall out and a miraculous image of this beautiful lady is left there on the tilma. That gets the Bishops attention. There is no record of any divine painting other than this beautiful gift from God to us in this image of Mary.
If you get a chance to read more on this fascinating topic and get to know your Mother more personally, I highly recommend these books; first by Carl Anderson, “Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love,” or Bernal Diaz, “The Conquest of New Spain.”
Every feature on the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe is significant. For example, “The reflections that have been detected in the eyes of the image. If the tilma is laid horizontally across a map of Mexico, the major glyphs, the large symbols discernible to the Aztecs, all line up with the major volcanoes of Mexico. The constellations on Our Lady’s mantel are the precise constellations of the sky at the moment on December 12th.The image of our Lady of Guadalupe is reproduced more than any other image of any woman in history. God painted the image of Our Lady for us all to see and still miraculously survives to this day in the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. It is the most visited pilgrimage site, getting about 20 million visitors annually.
Everywhere our Mother Mary has appeared, she takes on the appearance of the people she is there to aid. She is the Mother of All Nations and Peoples. She is the Queen of Heaven and our Mother too. I encourage you to read more about Marian apparitions, and to pray the Rosary which she has asked us to do countless times. As our Mother, who loves us dearly, she is trying to help us avert future chastisement, but there is only so much any mother can do. She can ask and ultimately it is up to the person to decide if they follow that advice and act.
To think that we can continue in the debauchery and outright flagrant sinfulness and think God is ok with it or has somehow turned a blind eye is exactly what evil would like us to think.
It was said that at Kibeho, when she appeared to the girls in Rwanda, as she tried to warn them to pray to avert the genocide, that she was inconsolable. Can you imagine the Mother of God, being inconsolable because as hard as she is trying to help us, we chose to go about our merry lives excluding God and doing our own thing?
Any mom is heartbroken when one of her children makes bad choices. Mary is trying to help all of humanity. We must do our part. Let us seek to please our dear sweet Mother and do what we are told.