Mother’s Day reflection: God’s grace and love help mothers “do it”
Due to the construction of the shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Providence was recently relocated to the narthex of our big church here at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. (Don’t stop to Google — narthex: an enclosed passage between the main entrance and the nave of a church.) We Sisters of Providence have long wished that this shrine would be in a space that lent itself to quiet prayer and not in a main hallway of Providence Spirituality and Conference Center.
The shrine space looks lovely and is very conducive to individual or small group prayer. The oil painting of Our Lady of Providence hangs above a small and lovely marble ledge, wide enough for bouquets and candles. The pastels of the portrait complement the muted rose-grey-white marble of the narthex walls.
I’ve taken to “stopping by” the shrine at different times of day, on my way to or from a meeting or a visit with someone. I like gazing at the portrait and usually find myself thinking of the many mothers I know or have known. Oh my! What an incredible vocation to which mothers are called!
It seems to me — looking in from the outside – that “it” never ends. Demands for your time, for your attention, for feeding and clothing, for worrying about and being concerned for – sometimes all of these in a morning or an afternoon.
Yet, again looking in from the outside — I love seeing the expressions of love and affection on a mother’s face as she watches her child, her children. I love the affectionate smiles children give their moms – especially if that “child” happens to be a teenager.
You mothers reading this would not believe how many times I’ve been in conversations with other Sisters of Providence about “how do mothers do it?” Any small incident can trigger this — watching a mother juggle small children in church or in the grocery store. All significant incidents evoke the conversation — watching a mother care for a hospitalized child or getting a call from a mother asking for our prayer for her child who is troubled by alcohol or drugs. No doubt, God’s grace and love help mothers “do it.”
So, dear mothers, hang in there! Your love is one way God’s love flows to the one or ones given to your care.
Know that, among others, the Sisters of Providence pray with you and for you that you may know the love of God for you, the strength of God in you, and the joy of God shining through you.
Our Lady of Providence, Queen of the Home, pray for us. Amen.
Sister Denise Wilkinson