Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Month of May and Our Lady

We  and many Catholic Churches in the world began this month with special honor being given to our Blessed Mother by processions and crowning her statue with beautiful flowers. It was because of her love that God joined Himself to our humanity. Because of her love, salvation entered into the world. Because of her love, the Church was able to be born. Because of her love, we are her children and the children of God. All of this and so much more could not have taken place without her first consent: "Let it be done to me according to your word."

We see that God planned for her to be an intimate part of our lives and of our salvation. Jesus saves us, but his mother aids us and directs us. She protects us and helps us; she urges us along the right path; she pleads with us sinners to turn to her Son. It is only natural that we want to show her our love by singing of her, by pilgrimages and by adorning her image.

The Church recommended May as a suitable month for this in order to counter old pagan practices when the flowers began to bloom. Mary's obedience and purity leads us to that which is wholesome and pleasing to God. The pagan ways of unlimited freedom to do what ever pleases one causes misery to oneself and to others. Our Lady wants us to be happy, as any mother would. Therefore, she not only is an example of one who does God's will, but she leads us by her maternal love to do so in our own lives.

So, rightfully we give her special affection this month as a resolve to give her our love and honor every day of the year.

In the same kind of way we have this day, Mother's Day, which was made into a national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. We realize that we can never repay our mothers for all that they have done for us. They put themselves last, taking care of their families first. This helps us to reflect on what true motherhood is. It is selfless love which stands in contrast to certain unhealthy practices of selfish "motherhood," that is wanting to be a mother simply because the person wants it. So, we have planned motherhood (at the "right" time). We have surrogate motherhood. Also, there is even the desire to have "designer" children: choosing the gender and appearance of a child.

The term "selfish motherhood" is really an absurdity. Motherhood in fact counters selfishness. We have that great example of all mothers: Mary. We have, by God's providence, the example of our own mothers who by and large always turned to Mary for help. May we ever grow in our appreciation and love for each of our mothers, living and deceased, and for our Blessed Mother.

Father Stanley


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