Happy Mother’s Day,
As it is Mother’s Day today I thought I would share some of Pope Francis’s comments in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “On Love in the Family”. This document can help us see the ideal that God hopes for all families, and hopefully helps us challenge ourselves and one another to strive for all that God wants for us and for us to be. In the following paragraphs he talks about the special gift of mothers to their children and to all of society from the section on “The love of a mother and a father” (p 172-177)
We acknowledge as legitimate and indeed desirable that women wish to study, work, develop their skills and have personal goals. At the same time, we cannot ignore the need that children have for a mother’s presence, especially in the first months of life. Indeed, “the woman stands before the man as a mother, the subject of the new human life that is conceived and develops in her, and from her is born into the world”. The weakening of this maternal presence with its feminine qualities poses a grave risk to our world. I certainly value feminism, but one that does not demand uniformity or negate motherhood. For the grandeur of women includes all the rights derived from their inalienable human dignity but also from their feminine genius, which is essential to society. Their specifically feminine abilities – motherhood in particular – also grant duties, because womanhood also entails a specific mission in this world, a mission that society needs to protect and preserve for the good of all.
174. “Mothers are the strongest antidote to the spread of self-centered individualism… It is they who testify to the beauty of life”. Certainly, “a society without mothers would be dehumanized, for mothers are always, even in the worst of times, witnesses to tenderness, dedication and moral strength. Mothers often communicate the deepest meaning of religious practice in the first prayers and acts of devotion that their children learn… Without mothers, not only would there be no new faithful, but the faith itself would lose a good part of its simple and profound warmth… Dear mothers: thank you! Thank you for what you are in your family and for what you give to the Church and the world”.
175. A mother who watches over her child with tenderness and compassion helps him or her to grow in confidence and to experience that the world is a good and welcoming place. This helps the child to grow in self-esteem and, in turn, to develop a capacity for intimacy and empathy. Thank you to all mother’s on this Mother’s Day, and every day.