Have you ever thought how attractive the example of Our Lady must have been when she was caring for the Christ Child? Although scripture has left us little if any of the words of Mary, artists have rendered Mary caring for Jesus. In those famous portraits, we see her peaceful and lovingly holding or teaching her son. How many women of her day, watching her with Him, would want to imitate her gentle and loving ways? They didn’t know her secret, that she was caring for the Savior Himself. But she did.
As mothers today, we need to remind ourselves that we too are caring for Christ in each of our children. The gospel tells us that whatever we do for the least of His little ones that we do unto Him. We too, like Mary, are called to be as gentle, loving and patient as she was with Him. As we try to imitate the virtues of Mary, keep in mind that we too need to be a witness to others of these virtues. Our example as we care for our children, will either repel or attract.
Perhaps you’ve been in a store or restaurant when a child is not having a good moment. Naturally everyone’s eyes dart that way to see how the situation will be handled. Perhaps you, like me, have been the mom of that child! You are aware others are watching. Now is the moment to be the witness God is asking you to be – the witness like Mary of patience and gentleness. In today’s anti-life culture, children are often seen as a burden and not a gift. Often times, the reaction parents get from others is a judgment, and not a good one. People will watch us and judge us, even when our children are being good! Often they will judge us for the simple fact that we have children. We need to ask ourselves why the world can be so critical of one of the most natural aspects of life … to have a child. I contend that the reactions one gets aren’t so much a reflection on you, but reveal a hurt within the one doing the judging.
Recently I heard a story of three moms who were enjoying lunch at McDonalds with their toddlers, about six of them, who were happily playing and being very good. The moms were engaged in light conversation. They couldn’t help but notice that at the next table, one woman kept looking over at them with a frown on her face. One of the little boys kept turning around to look back at her and smile at her. The mom of this little boy finally asked him what he was doing. He said, “I’m just trying to make her smile.”
Eventually this woman asked the group of moms if all the children were theirs, in a somewhat critical sort of way. The mom of the little boy said yes, but we actually have more children. She went on to explain that her little son was the youngest of seven, that this mom next to her had ten, and the other mom present was expecting her ninth. At that, the woman exclaimed, “What! Are you crazy!” Then, she stopped herself, and paused. Suddenly, tears came to her eyes and she said, “And God is taking care of you, isn’t He?”
Having opened up, she then told the group that years ago, she had decided after two children that she had had enough. She closed herself off to life, even though her husband wanted more. She wanted to be in control, to pursue her career, to have the security of being in charge of her life and her future. A few years later, her husband died suddenly at the young age of 29. She had regretted her decision ever since, but it was too late.
As for the young moms, they are practicing Catholics who know the Church’s teachings. They know that God is in control of every aspect of our lives. They know by following the Church’s teachings on openness to life, that God will give them a child if it is in His plan, and if He does, He who created that child will sustain that child! There is nothing to fear.
Our only fear as Catholics is that out of selfishness we will not have the children God intended to give us from before time existed, the children that God had thought of from before they were even created. “Before you were born, I knew you.” These children each have their own unique mission in life to make our world a better place. They are not a burden, but a gift.
Let us not let the lies of our culture make us deny God anything. Be not afraid, with him, we will have no regrets!
James and Kathleen Littleton, Catholic reverts, speakers, spiritual guides, radio guests, and co-authors of Better by the Dozen, Plus Two, subtitled Anecdotes and a Philosophy of Life from a Family of Sixteen, (available at http://www.lulu.com/littleton) are parents of nineteen children, fourteen living on earth, ages twenty-two to two, and five living in heaven. They are available as speakers or retreat or workshop presenters, individually or as a couple, on a wide range of Faith and Family topics. Their guest appearances on Catholic radio programs include Light of the East, host Fr Thomas Loya; The Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio; and Speak Now with Susan Konig on Sirius Satellite Radio the Catholic Channel. James and Kathleen can be reached with questions, comments or speaking engagement requests at [email protected] God bless you!
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|Published by: TUcbZfMIlCyXhIgJ|
|Date: 2011-08-27 03:45:32|
|Knokced my socks off with knowledge!
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