The Motherliness of Mary: An Open Invitation
All women have before them and within them a specific mission. It is an intrinsic vocation that is woven into our biology and written on our feminine souls. It is the mission of motherliness and this world is in dire need of women who are willing to actualize this God-given potential and bring forth their maternal gifts to bear upon it. In so much as physical motherhood is necessary to advance the continuation of the human species—spiritual motherhood is equally essential to nourish and protect the souls of all created beings…God’s children, great and small. Today, we have generations of women who have forgotten or may have never truly understood their call to motherliness and motherhood, both physical and spiritual. In that context of confusion, there has also arisen an overarching rebellion and rejection of physical motherhood that has proliferated in a culture that exalts self- indulgence over self-sacrifice; numbness over nurturing; taking rather than giving and holy receiving and leisure over living for others. In this milieu, it seems that woman’s mission has all but dissolved into obscurity, as she is living death instead of giving life. But there is hope, tremendous hope and this day celebrates it. Because while it seems that women have abandoned their mission, the One who commissioned it has not abandoned us. He has given us a heavenly helper to guide us back to our essential purpose and help us to reclaim our true task and fulfillment; to fill us with great grace and light. Her name is Mary and she is the Mother of our God. ~~~Mary shows us the way to fulfill our motherly vocations through her own motherly task—that is to form us into other Christs, to show us how to be more like her Son, and to usher in and aide us in the virtues of selflessness and love. This is her mission, the essence of her Fiat: to bring Christ to her children and her children to Christ so that we might freely and joyfully “do whatever He tells us to do.” Just like Mary, women are also specially and uniquely equipped to receive Jesus and give birth to His life in the lives of others. We, too, are maternal missionaries called to form Christ in others for the good of their souls and the world. We accomplish this most effectively through our feminine gifts to nurture, to conceive of the whole, through a Spirit-infused sensitivity and a joyous self-donation. Ultimately, woman is fulfilled through this mission to recognize, bring to life, and nurture Christ in others—not just her biological children but in whomever she encounters and in every sphere of her influence. Let us meditate on the example of Mary, and her motherly presence in our lives. She is sweet and gentle even as the force behind her Fiat is a firm and dynamic surrender. Her actions are practical, swift and effective. Her motherliness is humble, yet embodies an undeniable strength that is borne of sorrow and complete trust. Her motherly love is a purified fire. It is a self-consuming crucible through which every woman is invited to walk as she offers her own unique expression of motherliness to the world. It’s a holy and open invitation: How will you respond?