This weekend Dolores and I drove to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel, got back in the car and drove to the Shrine; within 10 minutes of being there I found myself sitting in the Crypt of the Apparition, looking at the beautiful statue of our Blessed Mother – and I was struck by the intensity of her desire. It wasn’t from the statue’s appearance that I got this feeling – rather it was from the smallness of the room, the smallness of the whole shrine for that matter and knowledge that Mary truly appeared here with a message.
Sitting there it dawned on that just over six weeks before I was sitting in the apparition chapel in Fatima – on the large ground between two giant basilicas – and looking at Mary; and now here I am in a small place in Wisconsin. Mary the same there and here I thought. Mary looking for us there and here I thought, and many other places as well. Mary searching for her children, wanting the best for her children, wanting our future to be joyful and peaceful – she wants us all to be happy. In short Mary is a mother – my mother – everyone’s mother.
In my opinion, Mothers’ Day is the celebration of the things that mothers do and feel. Mary our mother and our birth mothers all have the same sublime vocation, this calling is in their nature. As it is with the Church; She isn’t called Holy Mother Church for no reason. She too, through her ministers, clerical and lay, searches with the same intensity in her desire to love her children. She too wants the best for her children, wants her children to have a good and holy future.
So it got me to thinking about the recent discourse on the meaning of marriage and family – and what might happen if those in society who are striving to redefine these relationships succeed. What would happen to society if the definition of being a mother was changed – the definition what a family is was changed – how would children be able to understand what Mary was trying to do, how would they understand the special relationship that is between her and us, how would they appreciate the relationship between the church and her members. How much more difficult would it be for the next generations to understand how intimate the relationship between God, through his bride, is for each of us.
Well, our Holy Father is calling us to a new evangelization and with good reason. We who know a mother’s love, who know a family’s love, who know God’s love; should have this intense desire to pass on the knowledge about true love – so that the generations to come can feel the joy in celebrating Mothers’ Day that we do.