Mother’s Day & How Mary Stands At The Foot of Our Cross

With Mother’s Day coming up, I have a few things I want to share with you.

Starting with this:

Mother’s Day Isn’t a Celebration for Everyone

For many, it’s actually a very hard day to get through — a day that reminds them of what once was, what hasn’t been, or what may never be…

And so this post is for those women, or for their friends and families, who are hoping and praying and waiting for a baby, or who are mourning the loss of their baby or fertility.

You are not alone.

Please join me in praying for all women & husbands, as well as families, who may have a hard time on Mother’s Day, for whatever reason… for those who struggle with infertility, sub-fertility, for those who are avoiding getting pregnant for grave reasons; for those who have lost their children, for those who have lost their mothers, for those who are estranged from their mothers — for those mothers who are estranged from their children, and for those who have been hurt by their mothers.

You are remembered.

Mary, Mother of God and Mother of us all, please pray for all those who are suffering and hurting… Lord Jesus, please bring them comfort and peace. 

I know for many women that special blessings, prayers or homilies commemorating moms in the parish on Mother’s Day can be hard to sit through. But sometimes, those prayers and homilies are presented in a different way and they celebrate the Mother of God, our Mother.

And so I thought the following reflection on our Blessed Mother by Fr. Steve Grunow of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries was poignant for those who have a hard time getting through Mother’s Day…

He says:

“We make a mistake if we think that because Mary is the Mother of God that this somehow meant that she escaped the more painful experiences of life.  In fact, it is better to think that because of the depth of her relationship with Christ, the sad facts of life were enhanced for her rather than dulled.  She experienced life knowing the full cost of humanity’s refusal to love, and saw for herself the terrible cost in the manner that her beloved Son suffered and died.

“All the while in the midst of the pain-filled way of the cross, she trusted that God was present, even if such a presence could not be felt or offered little in the way of relief or consolation.” (read the rest here)

There have been times I needed to hear this message — this message that our Mother has walked a painful path. And that’s why I wanted to share this with you in case you needed to hear it too, especially with Mother’s Day coming up.

The Blessed Virgin Mary knew many sorrows in her life…. She can relate to you. She sees your pain. And she’s sending her Son to walk with you through it.

C.S. Lewis wrote that friendship happens when one man says to another, “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…”

This has certainly been my experience with those who have become my closest friends. And it’s been true for my relationship with Our Lady…

Mary responds to our heartaches.

Like our closest friends, she sits across from us and says, “Me too. I get it. I’ve felt it.” She’s not just sympathetic with our hurting. She is empathetic. She is willing to look at our crosses and to stand with us while we hold it today, just as she did for Jesus…

She is at the foot of our cross. She is here to offer us her love, her comfort and her prayers.

I hope that this reminder can help lessen the weight on your shoulders today, this coming week and on Mother’s Day.

You are not alone.

A Prayer for Mother’s Day
Originally written by Amy Young and adapted by Heidi Carrington Heath.
You can read the original here.

“I want you to know I’m praying for you if you are like Tamar, struggling with infertility, or a miscarriage.

I want you to know that I’m praying for you if you are like Rachel, counting the women among your family and friends who year by year and month by month get pregnant, while you wait.

I want you to know I’m praying for you if you are like Naomi, and have known the bitter sting of a child’s death.

I want you to know I am praying for you if you are like Joseph and Benjamin, and your Mom has died.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if your relationship with your Mom was marked by trauma, abuse, or abandonment, or she just couldn’t parent you the way you needed.

I want you to know I am praying for you if you’ve been like Moses’ mother and chose adoption, trusting another family to love your child into adulthood.

I want you to know I am praying for you if you’ve been like Pharaoh’s daughter, called to love children who are not yours by birth (and thus the mother who brought that child into your life, even if it is complicated).

I want you to know I am praying for you if you, like many, are watching (or have watched) your mother age, and disappear into the long goodbye of dementia.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you, like Mary, are pregnant for the very first time and waiting breathlessly for the miracle of your first child.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if your children have turned away from you, painfully closing the door on relationship, leaving you holding your broken heart in your hands. And like Hagar, now you are mothering alone.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if motherhood is your greatest joy and toughest struggle all rolled into one.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you are watching your child battle substance abuse, a public legal situation, mental illness, or another situation which you can merely watch unfold.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you like so many women before you do not wish to be a mother, are not married, or in so many other ways do not fit into societal norms.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you see yourself reflected in all, or none of these stories.

This mother’s day, wherever and whoever you are, we walk with you. You are loved. You are seen. You are worthy. And may you know the deep love without end of our big, wild, beautiful God who is the very best example of a parent that we know. Amen.”  

– Originally written by Amy Young, and adapted by Heidi Carrington Heath. You can read the original here.

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  • Jan

    Thank you I needed to hear this. Mother’s Day ( and Father’s Day) has always been very hard for me because my parents were very abusive. They did not want me for whatever the reason. A few years ago I realized I (we all have) another Mother who loves us dearly – Mary. There are many days I struggle believing this but I just keep reminding myself it is true. May has always Ben a hard month for me because of Mother’s Day and it was also my mother’s birthday.

  • WOW this prayer at the end is beautiful. Thank you for writing this. My crosses are so very light, I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to being empathetic with those who are suffering. It’s a tough virtue for me. Thanks for the encouragement, and the very important perspective!