Today, I share with you, dear visitors to Catholicmom.com, an excerpt from my upcoming, new book, "Dear Catholic Mother":
Woman: The Heart of the Home
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta reminds us that our purpose in life is to "love and be loved". Just as the heart is the central and most significant feature of the human body, through which life-giving blood is pumped and sent through our veins to sustain our existence, you, dear Catholic mother, are the most important element of your home.
Home; that beautiful, wonderful place where our families live-out their calling. It is, if you will, like the body... and all of the members who reside within are the bones and the muscles; the nervous system and the brain. But, the heart...the heart is "mother".
As mothers, we are to nurture the lives in our care. Just as the human heart feeds life into our veins, we feed life into our families through our love, our service, and our joy.
All eyes are upon us from our beloved husbands and children. The family's disposition and tone revolves around our own. Are we happy? Are we content? Are we gentle and kind?
They take their cues from us.
Have you ever stopped to consider what a wondrous blessing and privilege it is to be a mother? For those of us who have carried life within our wombs and brought forth sons and daughters through the pains of our labor, we have been granted a privilege that has not been given even unto the angels of heaven. And, for those who have opened their arms and welcomed children not born of their own flesh, there has been a shower of selfless and humble love; given freely, to a child in need.
As mothers, we share in God's Divine and holy work, on earth. We are raising children in this world in order to populate the kingdom of heaven in the next. To be a Catholic mother, then, is very special, indeed, for we have within our reach, the fullness of Truth and the abundance of graces that are poured out through the Sacraments to bless us in our vocation.
We live in a fallen world. Sadly, the God-ordained role of women has been greatly undermined, degraded, and assaulted to the extent that many profess it to be, not the beautiful, sacred, wonderful, and holy thing that it is; but, rather, something akin to
being enslaved, used, or wasted away in worthless, unending, menial activity.
Many who have given in to lust, greed, and power, have manipulated the very image of "woman" and have reduced it to a mere object of fleshly pleasure.
This could not be further from the truth. Jesus, Himself, elevated "woman" to a place of honor; not a low-ranking, insignificant person. He spoke to women, in public, when no one else would. He submitted to His mother's request to assist the bridegroom at the wedding feast in Cana. He entrusted the very oils, which were to be used in His burial rite,
to a woman. And, it was women, who first saw Our Lord, after He resurrected.
Do you cherish your place as the "heart" of your home? Do you know your influence, your importance, your value? Make no mistake, all that you do each day, if done for love of God and in devotion to your family, is invaluable.
Just as Jesus tells us in the Scriptures that He is the vine and we are the branches, (John 15:5), the same can be said for you, as mother; for all life, all wellness, all goodness, and all love, flow from your heart to your husband and children and out to the world, beyond your door. Yes, you are the heart of your home. Who then, is the center of your heart?
Jesus is the heart of the Catholic Mother.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is that which was just mentioned in the previous section: the miracle at the wedding in Cana.
(John 2:1~11) Here, we see the essence of how Jesus views His mother. As the story begins, and Mary brings it to her Son's attention that the groom has run out of wine, He seems to answer her in a rather curt way. "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come". And yet, Mary is not put off. Although, she says no more to Jesus, she turns to the servants (who, of course, represent "us") and instructs, "Do whatever He tells you".
We all know the rest of the story; Jesus tells the servants to fill the stone jars nearby with water.(Incidentally, each jar held 20 gallons of water and was customarily used for ceremonial washings) He tells them to fill them "to the brim" and after they obey, they are instructed to "draw some out" and "take it to the headwaiter".
This, as we know, is Jesus' first public miracle, for when the headwaiter tastes it, it is no longer water, but the best-of-the-best of wine.
Have you ever pondered how much this Scripture passage speaks to us about the high honor that Jesus had for His mother? He submitted to her request even after informing her that it was not the time for Him to show Himself, as God. He respects and honors her request. Mary's message to the servants, and , ultimately, to us, is to "do whatever He tells us" for she trusts, as always, that God will provide.
That event, which took place more than 2000 years ago, should still reign in the heart of every Catholic mother. Wine, in Scripture, is often symbolic of joy. Our Lord instructed the servants, not merely to "fill the jars", but to fill them "to the brim"; which, He then turned in to 20 full gallons of wine. Hence, cups of joy; filled to overflowing!
Jesus loves you so very much. He, who designed your mission and purpose as a Catholic mother, before all time, wants to bring you joy and fill your cup to overflowing; just as He did for His own mother, that day.
Jesus, who gives Himself to you in the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, has laid down His life that you might live forever and He comes to you each day that you may be fed by His precious body and blood so that His life, His heart, His soul and divinity, can abide in you. He is your heart. He is the source of your love. He is the source of your energy. He is the heart of you who are the heart of your home!
This should give you great comfort and courage in your journey as a Catholic mother.
For, just as it is said in Romans 8:31, "If God is for us then who can be against us"?
Copyright 2012 Judy Dudich
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