The Profound Dignity of Motherhood

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Mothers are by far the most beautiful creatures in the world. There is nothing more beautiful than a mother. There has never been a beauty pageant winner more beautiful than a pregnant woman. A pregnant woman glows with the grace of God. She is one with God. Her love has borne fruit with the life in her womb. She is transformed into an other-worldly beauty. Anyone can naturally see this.

When I would see my wife when she was pregnant I experienced an overwhelming drive to embrace her. I wanted to be one with that love she was exuding. A mother is a lover, in the true sense of the word. Yes, she is a lover because the love that she gives is very costly to her through the physical difficulties of her pregnancies, through the pain of childbirth, through the mountain of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual self-giving.

To be a mother is to be a pourer, one who does not hold back but rather pours out all she has throughout her entire life, unto death, and into eternity. This is agape love, a supreme love of total self-giving. Through all the challenges of motherhood she owns a deep interior joy. From the miraculous moment she becomes a mother, from the first moment of conception (fertilization), when our Heavenly Father of Mercies breathes life into that new unrepeatable eternal person, she will never be the same. She is now a mother. Think of a mother embracing or serving her children. Is there a more stirring sight in the world?

When we hear or utter the name “mother,” really we should bow or genuflect. In a sense, we are encountering God in a mother. We need to create a culture that honors mothers. We are called to honor mothers who are old, wrinkled, perhaps forgotten in nursing homes; to honor mothers whose children perhaps did not seem to turn out as perfectly as their dreams had hoped for. But nothing is lost with God. With God all things are possible.

Elderly mothers: every wrinkle, gray hair, varicose vein, pain, and frailty you have is a purple-heart medal for which you should beam with a holy pride. Mothers, mothers-to-be, grandmothers … do you hear what I am saying? Do you realize the grand dignity you have, the necessary awe-inspiring sign that you are in the world?

And we cannot leave out those women who ache to be mothers, who have not yet had this dream fulfilled, or may not be given the grace physically to be mothers. They too should be honored as mystical mothers. God honors the intention and the will. The ache of those women who wish to be mothers but cannot is an immense gift of sharing in the sorrows of Jesus in a redemptive way. Those aches and sorrows, that pain that cannot be described in words is a life-giving pain. It is in itself a real form of motherhood as motherhood is life-giving. The fruit of this redemptive pain is parceled out to other souls and participates in our blessed Lord Jesus’s redemptive passion for their salvation. This mystical motherhood is not inferior to physical motherhood. It is profound. These mystical mothers will find in eternity that their love and their sorrow bore fruit in many spiritual children by whom they will be honored and spend their eternity with in heaven, because this contributed to their salvation.

Let’s find ways to make every day Mother’s Day, though our prayers, deeds and words. Let’s show our reverence for our mothers, for all mothers, and contribute our own irreplaceable and necessary part in creating that culture that profoundly honors mothers. When we succeed at this many of our other pro-life issues will fade like a mist. Omnia vincit amor (Virgil), Love conquers all, especially the love of and for Mothers!

James M. Littleton is President, Co-founder & Co-director of Forming Faithful Families *Core material borrowed from the book, Better by the Dozen, Plus Two: Anecdotes and a Philosophy of Life from a Family of Sixteen, by James and Kathleen Littleton, and Forming Faithful Families radio and television programs.

Copyright 2015 James M. Littleton & Forming Faithful Families


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1 Comment

  1. This is a lovely article. Thank you f or sharing it. My favorite quote? “Elderly mothers: every wrinkle, gray hair, varicose vein, pain, and frailty you have is a purple-heart medal for which you should beam with a holy pride.” It reminds me of my Grandmas Alice and Marjorie and it makes me feel proud to be a younger mom who will someday wear those medals, too.

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