This is your Mother.
A disturbing incident occurred when Kathleen was undergoing caesarean section with our twins. The regular obstetrician was unavailable, so the doctor on call delivered them. I was in the operating room with her. In the course of delivery, the doctor turned to me and said that he could tie her tubes. I guess he was offering an efficient and perhaps discounted two-for-one operation. Of course, I was appalled, shocked and angry. I told him that there was no way he was going to do that. I lost complete trust in him at that time. He assured me that he would not, but I had heard horror stories of doctors doing it anyway. Of course, neither one of us would dream of being sterilized.
Kathleen had had a lot of difficulty with this pregnancy, so the dominant culture would have us believe that given her age, number of children, etc., she was “entitled” to be sterilized. This is a lie. Just think, since the twins, we have had seven more children, four living and three in heaven. Had the doctor had his way, those children and all their descendants, and their eternal souls which were planned and destined by God to live eternally, would never have existed.
God is love. All real love entails risk and sacrifice. Outside of and unconnected to God, there is really no love. If we could only fathom how much Jesus Christ loves those who pour out everything they are and have, those who do not reduce their love to economics, finances, and things. Christ loves those who put love before everything else. God is love.
Mothers are powerful with God. They are the true definition of tough, and will let nothing stand in the way of the good of their children.
I am certain that a significant part of the population in heaven will have gotten there because of their mothers. Their mothers will have interceded for their children like the Blessed Mother did at the wedding feast at Cana. (Cf: John 2) Our Lord never refuses his mother’s requests.
The name mother should be whispered with reverence. There are really no bad mothers, only good mothers, at least amongst those who try, who do their best and persevere regardless of any shortcomings. Mothers have a special dignity.
And we cannot leave out those women who ache to be mothers. They too should be honored as mystical mothers. God honors the intention and the will.
And we cannot forget spiritual motherhood, the motherhood of religious and consecrated women, who have wedded themselves to the Bridegroom, Christ. They are mothers to all of us in time and eternity.
Here are a couple of stories on motherhood in our family. When Kathleen was nearing her due date with Mairead, one evening she seemed to be in labor so we drove toward the hospital. But then the contractions stopped. On the way home we stopped at a Eucharistic adoration chapel. I went in to pray, and when I came back to the car, I found Kathleen in somewhat of a panic. Shortly after I had gone into the chapel, her labor began again with such intensity that the first contraction sent a book flying off her stomach and onto the floor. We raced to the hospital. Beautiful little Mairead was born shortly thereafter.
I recall that when Kathleen was on bed rest with the twins, in peril of a dangerously early delivery, I was praying and pacing in front of the house. My attention was drawn to the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in front of our home. There was a pot of petunias at the base of the steps there, and two of the stems had grown out horizontally toward the statue in an extraordinary way, blossoming into two beautiful flowers right by the statue, one directly above the other, the larger flower on the bottom. It turned out that the larger baby, Maura, was born first. These flowers bloomed beautifully throughout Maura’s extended six-week long hospital stay. To us, it was a sign of hope.
I was given the grace to realize that the Blessed Mother was telling me through this sign that everything was in her hands. This gave us great peace. Not through any merit of our own, but with Christ, through Mary, we are invincible, and our lives will bear much fruit.
Our Journey from the Lie of Contraception to Nineteen Children
BETTER BY THE DOZEN, PLUS TWO: ANECDOTES AND A PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE FROM A FAMILY OF SIXTEEN
By James and Kathleen Littleton
Copyright © 2007 by James & Kathleen Littleton
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