Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Forgotten Mother

I am a cradle Catholic. Throughout the years, I have had many people ask questions about my faith, often times accusing me of believing something that I really do not. I have been forced by this questioning to find theological reasoning behind what the Church teaches, to wrestle with different viewpoints and to finally come to know that the faith I was raised in is truly my own. Throughout the years, the most common accusation I hear is, "Catholic's worship Mary", or something right along those lines. Now, there are many many theologins out there to argue the Catholic case for Mary, but I am not hear to do that today.

Today, I am here as a mother, just like she was. Today I am here wondering why so many protestants have forgotten how special a calling it must have been to be the mother of Jesus; the mother of God. So often I have asked protestants, "what if, at the annunciation, Mary said no?" to which they generally respond that God would have chosen someone else to be the mother of Christ. This logic, to me, speaks of a selfish God who merely uses the body of a woman to bring forth His divine plan. Not of a loving God who chose Mary specifically before all time to be HIS mother (imagine, creating your own mother...I bet she would be pretty perfect, huh?). God didn't just go around saying, eny meenyminey mo, ok she'll do. He created Mary for the specific purpose of being Christ mother. Just like He created you and I for a specific vocation. And just like Mary, we can say no to Christ. He gives us that free will. And if we do say no, he can't just give our vocation to someone else, because it is ours. The whole world's salvation waited on the "yes" of Mary that day. 

And still, if the protestants believe what I have said above, they seem to think that Christ was done with Mary the day He was born. That her job was finished in Bethlehem. But any mother knows this is surely not the case. Have we forgotten that Jesus spent 30 years in her home before beginning his ministry? Mary didn't just birth Jesus, feed him some food to grow and then send him on his way. She mothered him. She watched him smile for the first time, fed him milk from her breast, and held his tiny fingers as he learned to walk. She picked him up when he fell, kissed his owies and taught him how to hold his hands when he prayed to his Father. She nurtured him, cuddled him and kept him warm on cold winter nights.

All of these things seem like small, normal things all of us mothers do, and they are. But we must remember that Jesus wasn't just any child. He was the son of God. Mary taught and nurtured the Son of God! Tell me that isn't incredible! She felt the greatest love for her child than any woman has ever felt or will ever feel. And 33 years after his birth she walked behind Him to Calvary and stood silently as they crucified her child she kissed on the forehead all those nights.

We may not agree that Mary was sinless or that Jesus was her only son, but surely with a little reflection on her life and the 30 years Jesus spent in the home of the holy family, we can agree that she is a very very special mother and a woman deserving our honor.

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaide. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name." Luke 1:46-49 (emphasis mine)


  1. Wow. Simply beautiful, Andrea.

  2. Beautiful! I love you, thank you for these posts!

  3. You have no idea how much these thoughts have helped me...we cannot give our vocation to someone else. Wow! Thank-you Andrea!

  4. LMA;

    Anne told me of another insight to exactly how incredible a mother - Mary actually was. It was Mary's intervention that resulted in His first public self-manifestation at the wedding at Cana - she knew full well that once He did so, it would be the beginning of His end. Mary also wanted her Son to do what He had to come to do and as a mother she wanted Him to do it well - at Calvary she not only walked behind Him, she encouraged Him to succeed and persevere at the horrific circumstances which were required to complete the mission the Holy Spirt had invested Him with. Only an amazing mother could put her own feelings aside and encourage her Son's success when it came to The Will of the Father.

  5. I am protestant and while I don't agree with praying to Mary, I still can respect and appreciate her roll in Jesus' upbringing and support of His ultimate sacrifice. Beautifully well written post, lady.

    I have chosen you as recipient of the 'One Lovely Blog' award. Hop on over to my blog to see what's it's all about. Great post!

  6. Who painted that picture of Mary and the boy Jesus?