Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Fourth Sunday after Easter—10 May AD 2020
Ave Maria!


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Mothers'  Day

    Mothers' Day was observed for the first time on May 10th  (This very day!), 1908 in the churches of Philadelphia and Grafton West Virginia—at the suggestion of a Miss Anna Jarvis.  The practice of observing it on the 2nd Sunday of every May originated with a declaration of Congress and a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.[1]  Somewhat like Thanksgiving it is a holyday/holiday observed by people of many faiths, based on God's natural law, and not requiring any formal revelation, and therefore not restricted to Christians or Jews or believers of any kind.

    If it sounds “a bit much” to hear that Mother's Day is based in the natural law, and is not just a plot by the Hallmark Company, consider the following:

    We have a duty in justice to acknowledge that our parents gave us life and protected us when we were too small to fend for ourselves, put food on the table and clothes on our backs, and raised us to be responsible young adults.  To ignore this duty would be a terrible ingratitude, differing only in degree from the sin of refusing to honor God for what He does for us.

    We have a duty in prudence to keep respect for the vocation of motherhood alive, so that future generations of women will devote themselves as lovingly to the raising of the children as previous generations.  This is particularly important in our time when the secular wisdom prods more and more mothers to leave their children in the care of strangers, or to largely give them over to the government to determine how they will be raised.

    And just as religion should be more love of God than a mere duty, so should our relationship with our mothers be based on love.  Taking mom out for dinner or sending a card or calling on the phone ought to be something we look forward to on this day—and often throughout the year.  Just has we have piety toward God; “filial piety” toward our parents is also a holy virtue.

    For those of us who no longer have mom and dad alive with us here on earth, the duty is one of prayer and remembrance—and again, we are urged both by justice and love.  And, also, again, we ought to be moved to prayer for our deceased parents frequently throughout the year.  You may have noticed that the second collect in this Mass was for all of our deceased parents—mothers and fathers, because mom would no doubt want it that way.  And I ask you to join me in offering this Mass for all of our parents both the living and the dead.

    It is also appropriate in the month of May to remember the Blessed Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ.  Certainly this is the practice of the Church—like good sons and daughters we remember Mother Mary all throughout the year—but with a special urgency of devotion during May.  Think of all the beautiful hymns we hear about now, the May crownings, and all of the Masses of our Lady in May and the surrounding days after Easter:

    Our Lady of Good Counsel;  Mother of the Divine Pastor;  The Humility of Mary;  Our Lady Help of Christians;  Queen of all Saints and Mother of all Holy Delights;  Mediatrix of All Graces;  Queen of the Apostles;  The Most Pure Heart of Mary.

    Certainly, the month of May is a time to shower our Holy Mother with the roses of the Rosary;  as many as we can each day.  It is a time to stand with her at the foot of the Cross each morning as she offers up her Divine Son at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; just as she did on Calvary.  It is a time to pick up any of those practices of Marian devotion we may have neglected during the year: Rosary, Scapular, Miraculous Medal, and so on.

    It is a long standing tradition of biblical interpretation that as He hung on the Cross, our Lord addressed not just Saint John, but that He addressed all of us when He told that disciple: “Behold thy mother” and that He was referring to all of us when He told Mary: “Woman, behold thy son.”[2]  Mary is our mother, the mother of the whole human race—the mother in heaven to whom we can go with our needs, even when we have reason to be afraid of our Father in heaven.

    So on this Mother's Day let’s make a special effort to honor our mothers both on earth and in heaven.  Go see mom or give her a call or offer a prayer, and tell her that you love her.  Resolve to keep her in your plans throughout the year.  And don't forget to do the same for Mother Mary, the mother of us all!


[1]   Colliers Encyclopedia, s.v. “Holidays and Holy Days.”





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