Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Ave Maria!

Fifth Sunday after Easter - 13 May AD 2012
Feast of Our Lady of Fatima-Mothers Day

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English

Proverbs xxxi: 10-31

Who shall find a valiant woman?  Her value is far beyond pearls.  Her husband, entrusting his heart to her has an unfailing prize.  She brings him good and not evil, all the days of her life.  She obtains wool and flax, and makes cloth with skillful hands.  Like merchant ships, she brings her bread from afar.  She rises while it is still night, and distributes her goods to her household.  She picks out a field to purchase.  Out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard.  She is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms.  She enjoys the success of her dealings.  At night, her lamp is undimmed.  She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle.  She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.  She fears not the snow for her household; all her charges are doubly clothed.  She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing.  Her husband is prominent at the city gates, as he sits with the elders of the land.  She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the Chanaanite merchants with belts.  She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come.  She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel.  She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness.  Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extolls her:  “Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all.”  Charm is deceptive, and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Epistle: James i: 22-27

A reading from the epistle of blessed James the Apostle:

Beloved: Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror: for he looks at himself and goes away, and presently he forgets what kind of man he is. But he who has looked carefully into the perfect law of liberty and has remained in it, not becoming a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, shall be blessed in his deed. And if anyone thinks himself to be religious, not restraining his tongue but deceiving his own heart, that man's religion is in vain. Religion pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to give aid to orphans and widows in their tribulations, and to keep oneself unspotted from this world.

Gospel: John xvi: 23-30

+ The continuation of the holy Gospel according to John:

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you. Hitherto you have not asked anything in My name. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in parables. The hour is coming that I will no longer speak to you in parables, but will speak to you plainly of the Father. In that day you shall ask in My name; and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father for you, for the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I leave the world and go to the Father." His disciples said to Him, "Behold, now Thou speakest plainly, and utterest no parable. Now we know that Thou knowest all things, and dost not need that anyone should question Thee. For this reason we believe that Thou comest forth from God."


Ave Maria!

Fifth Sunday after Easter—13 May A.D. 2012

Our Lady of Fatima-May Crowning AD 2012[1]

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima—Mothers’ Day

    I hope it doesn’t seem to modern that I included a reading from the Old Testament before the Epistle and Gospel today.  It is taken from the feast day of Saint Anne, the mother of the blessed Virgin.  It is also read in Masses honoring married holy women—the last chapter of the book of Proverbs.[2]

    Today is Mother’s day, so we extend congratulations and express our appreciation to all of you who are mothers.  And, just so there is no mistake, I feel that it is correct to include all who have been mothers to our children—that certainly includes adoptive mothers, sisters, and aunts, and cousins, and neighbors—really all who have stepped in when Mom was unable to carry out her responsibilities toward her family.  That would include some number of men, and not a few fathers.  That is why the second collects in today’s Mass refer to our deceased mothers and fathers.  But, fathers will get their day in June, so let me refer only to “mothers”—but still, in the general sense.

    I had a chance conversation with a neighbor during this past week, that caused me to think of some of the attributes of my own mother.  Among other things, she taught me to read, while the public school was utterly unable to do so.  She took me to museums and exhibitions, and nourished my curiosity about nature and the natural sciences—she would have been a chemist, had World War II not intervened in her education—I had a pretty nifty chemistry set as a boy.  Mom taught me my first prayers, and heard my catechism lessons, and we read from the family Bible—a magnificent book that Mom was able to convince my father to buy at the entrance to the parish church, for what was in those days the princely sum of thirty dollars.

    I was truly blessed, as I am sure many of you were as well.  No doubt your remembrances are not the same as mine, for there are very many qualities that make a good woman and mother.  The reading from Proverbs describes a mother from a different culture than our own.  She knew nothing of chemistry sets, or how to use the Internet for tonight’s homework—but then, few of our ladies have planted a vineyard, woven their own cloth, or sold belts to the Chanaanites.  Yet, even though they are separated by thousands of years and thousands of miles, the good women of today have a great deal in common with the good woman of Proverbs.  A single man today might well want to know if this woman from the Bible has an unmarried sister or not.

    The specific domestic skills are not anywhere as important than this woman’s recognition of her proper role as wife and mother, and her willingness—almost a compulsion—to engage the world in such a way that her family has the things necessary for life, and that they use these things for good:  “She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel.  She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness.”  Her sons and daughters will grow up to be responsible adults.

    I read this excerpt from Proverbs a number of times each year when celebrating Holy Mass in honor of the saints.  I am always drawn to this holy woman by her abilities and by her devotion to duty.  But, perhaps she is also interesting because she is so unlike the “ideal woman” of 21st century society.  If our media are to be believed, the ideal woman is measured by her dress size, the number of husbands she has had, the number of places where she has vacationed in the past eighteen months, and the kind of car she drives.  It is owed to her by civil right, not to have any more children than she wants, or not to have them at all, even if she becomes pregnant!  It should be obvious to anyone who reads the description in Proverbs that we have “come a long way” in the wrong direction over those thousands of years.

    It is significant that today is the feast of our Lady of Fatima, the thirteenth of May.  Our Lady’s message to the children of Fatima was one of warning about the errors of Russia and the modern world—that repentance and reparation were necessary.  Russia has spread her errors—indeed, virtually all of the attacks on motherhood, and the family, and Christian society that we have seen in the past half century or two have been in the “politically correct” methods of cultural Marxism—the effort to overload, pull down, and destroy Western civilization so that it can be replaced by one or another form of Socialism.[3]  The glamorization of the modern media’s “ideal woman” is not a form of liberation for women, but rather a promise of slavery for all men, women, and children not lucky enough to become part of the ruling elite.

    The antidote to that slavery is found in the woman described in Proverbs, in Saint Anne, and in her blessed daughter the Blessed Virgin Mother of God, Our Lady of Fatima—Our Lady of the Rosary.  Indeed the antidote to modern slavery is found in all the holy women celebrated by the Church, and even in the holy women to whom I have been referring as our mothers.

    If you are fortunate enough to have your mother among the living, please do go and see her today—at least call. If not, call on her in prayer—both in prayer for her and her eternal salvation, but also in prayer to her, that if she is among the saints in Heaven (or the saints to be, in Purgatory) she will ask God for our wellbeing and protection.  You know that you always were able to call on Mom when times were tough—understand that you still can call on her.  The Blessed Virgin Mother, Saint Anne, and all the good mothers of all time.

    Happy Mothers’ Day!


[1]   Frank Rodriguez photo, Our Lady of the Rosary May crowning, 6 May AD 2012

[2]   Proverbs xxxi: 10-31.

[3]   Arnaud de Lassus, “The Frankfurt School Cultural Revolution” The Angelus July 2006


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