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Honoring Our Mothers

First seen on the Behold Visio Divina Blog - May 2023

How do you celebrate Mother’s Day? Maybe you get her a card and some flowers (or chocolate if she’s got a sweet tooth) and spend the day with her if you can. Maybe you visit her grave to spend a few moments remembering her and offering a prayer for her soul. Maybe you keep yourself distracted, trying not to dwell on the ways she never quite filled the role of mother the way you most needed.

We all have different stories and that’s nothing to be dismissed. But the truth is, we have all had multiple mothers in our lives; biological, adoptive, spiritual, and even saintly and they have shown us that there is good to be found in the vocation of motherhood. Maybe we don’t always recognize these women in our lives if they don’t bear the official title of “mother” or perhaps we’ve gotten comfortable holding a surface level view of how they mother us.

Today, I’m going to challenge you to honor your mother(s) in a new way- to add some freshness, depth, and joy to the love you desire to return to them!

Below are 4 different ways we can honor our mothers- regardless of whether they are alive, deceased, spiritual, or a Saint. 

  1. Write and send her a card in the mail including one of your favorite memories of her. (If it isn’t possible to physically mail it to her, find somewhere meaningful to leave it.)

  2. Share a story with someone else about how she has touched your life.

  3. Make a list of the mothers in your life and write a unique prayer intention specific to each one next to each of their names.

    1. Place this list at the feet of Mary or your favorite female Saint.

  4. Sacrifice something that a mother has sacrificed for you: time alone and instead spent caring for others, money spent on a little trinket that will make someone else smile, sleep in order to pray for someone, hot coffee in order to clean up someone else’s mess, etc.

Let me expand a little on why I find these suggestions to be meaningful ways to honor our mothers…

  1. Who doesn’t love receiving an actual card in the mail? It’s never expected these days but brings a wonderful feeling of gratitude with it when it is received. Try including stickers or colorful drawings to add some extra joy to the surprise!

  2. Stories connect us and help us to grow. I’d presume that nothing makes a mother feel more seen and loved than when she sees her child growing into the person she always knew they were created to be. By sharing a story about her that’s impacted you there is the potential for her actions to cause yet another ripple effect of change in the world.

  3. Making a list and writing down specific prayers requires time and intentional thought. It’s more than a passing thought. Our prayers are then paired with the actions of writing and physically bringing these intentions to Mary. Each step of this process is a prayer in and of itself.

  4. We all know mothers make great sacrifices for their children. Many go unnoticed, hidden by the night or their own front doors. While we may not be able to offer the exact same sacrifices (i.e. the pain of childbirth), we can offer up something similar or for a similar intention. Why not let your coffee hit room temperature before you drink it? While you’re letting it cool down, spend that time doing one of the three ideas above! 

However you spend your Mother’s Day, whatever your relationships with mothers look like, take to heart these words of St. John Paul II on the importance of honoring mothers: “Motherhood is a woman’s vocation. It is an eternal vocation, and it is also a contemporary vocation… We must do everything in order that woman may merit love and veneration. We must do everything in order that children, the family and society may see in her that dignity that Christ saw.”

And in the words of Pope Francis, “A society without mothers would be a dehumanized society, for mothers are always, even in the worst moments, witnesses of tenderness, dedication and moral strength….Dearest mothers, thank you, thank you for what you are in your family and for what you give to the Church and the world.”

Let us honor and thank all of our mother figures this Mother’s Day with a renewed love and awe for their gifts to us and to the world!

*First published on Behold Visio Divina:

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