watkins_christineToday, we welcome author and speaker Christine Watkins to the CatholicMom.com family of contributors.  Christine will join us monthly to share her inspiring words of encouragement.  To enjoy more of Christine's writing, be sure to check out her wonderful website at www.christinewatkins.com and discover her new book Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion Through Mary's Intercession. Christine is also a wonderful speaker and welcomes the opportunity to speak with your parish or organization.   Visit her website for complete details.

In God's infinite wisdom, He knew that all of us would need a perfect mother. We sometimes long to be held in a mother's arms, to feel protected, nurtured, and adored. We want to snuggle up to Mary, like the Christ child in this picture. For when we are in our heavenly mother's arms, there is no other place we would rather be. We feel full. We feel complete. We feel loved.

For many, Mothers' Day elicits raw emotion. Either we are filled with gratitude for the love shown to us by our earthly mother, or we are painfully aware of our mother's faults and the scars they left in our hearts. If we are mothers ourselves, as much as we might rejoice in this gift, our imperfections can stare back at us, magnified and reflected in our own children. Mothers' Day may beckon us to heal more deeply from past wounds. Perhaps our mother mistreated or abandoned us, perhaps our mother died, perhaps we are a mother who lost children through miscarriage or abortion. (For healing after abortion, see www.rachelsvineyard.org for Rachel's Vineyard Retreats.)

Scripture tells us, often in stark terms, how to--and how not to--relate to our mothers:

Leviticus 19:3: Revere your mother and father, and keep my sabbaths. I, the LORD, am your God.

Proverbs 19:26: He who mistreats his father, or drives away his mother, is a worthless and disgraceful son.

Proverbs 20:20: If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness.

Proverbs 23:22: Listen to your father who begot you, and despise not your mother when she is old.

Proverbs 10:1: The Proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes his father glad, but a foolish son is a grief to his mother.

In order to honor our mothers, as God would wish, we sometimes have to heal. It's okay if Mothers' Day puts us in touch with sadness or pain.  We don't have to pretend that our lives and families are Hallmark card material. But God does want us to know that we do have a mother whose love for us is perfect, unconditional, never fed up, never tired, never abandoning. God has sent us His mother to guide us and heal us, to help us view our own mothers, and perhaps ourselves as mothers, with compassion and forgiveness. For no one, except Jesus and Mary, has ever loved perfectly.

So this Mothers' Day, give yourself the treat of tugging on the gown of your mother in heaven. Ask her to pick you up and set you down on her lap. Rest your head underneath her chin, tell her how you feel, exactly what you need.

Truly, if you enter into this prayer, she will be there. You will not be entering into your imagination, but spending time with your mother, who is as present and real as the air you breathe. She is waiting for you, ready to scoop you up and delight in you. For whatever age you may be, you're always a little kid in her arms.

Copyright 2010 Christine Watkins