Mothers leave indelible mark of love on our hearts Print
Seeing with Jesus' Eyes
Thursday, May. 08, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

A man felt that he was too busy to visit his mother on Mother’s Day, so he stopped at a florist to wire her some carnations.

A little girl came in and tried to buy a rose for her mom for 75 cents. The clerk told her that a rose costs two dollars. Tears revealed her pain.

The man generously paid for the girl’s rose and then ordered carnations for his mother.

As he drove thoughtfully away, he saw the little girl in the nearby cemetery. He stopped and saw her tearfully placing the rose on her mother’s grave.

The man canceled his wire order of carnations. He personally delivered them to his mother. He decided to enjoy her presence while she was still alive.

The ‘mother’ of Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis (1864-1948) was so proud of her mother that she worked to establish a day when she and others could honor their mother and all mothers. She is known as the "mother" of Mother’s Day.

On Mother’s Day we honor mothers -- living and deceased -- for their lifelong care, concern, and unconditional love.

Rajneesh, an Indian mystic, said, "The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."

A mother’s acts of love

An unknown author wrote, "Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever."

After the events of 9/11, a worried mother phoned her daughter who lived in the area. She discovered that her daughter was safe, but she flew to New York to make sure she was safe by hugging her.

A famous Bible scholar said that the best translation of the Bible was his mother’s translation. She translated the Bible into daily acts of love.

A sophomore girl I once taught agreed. She wrote, "I can’t find anything wrong with my mother. She is kind, forgiving, thoughtful, caring, and patient. She constantly preaches peace in the family. She leads by example."

Peace begins in the family

Peace was a major reason for early attempts to establish Mother’s Day. A mother told her young children that the best Christmas present they could give her was to stop fighting and give her peace. Peace begins in families.

In no. 2223 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it says, "Parents educate their children by creating a home where tenderness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule."

Leading by example

Parents have a responsibility to give a good example to their children. One way to do this is through prayer. Abraham Lincoln said, "I remember my mother’s prayers. They have always followed me."

Every night, my mother knelt and prayed. During Lent, May, and October, she gathered us for the Rosary like a hen gathers her chicks.

She made sure that we prayed before and after meals. She encouraged us to pray to discover our vocation. Her prayers helped me to persevere in my priesthood. I’m sure she is praying for me in heaven.

The Church encourages mothers to pray to be good mothers. A mother told me, "I’m most proud of being a mother. My grandmothers and mother helped me become the mother I am today. I pray that I can be a good mother like them and pass on their wonderful qualities to my children." I think that she has.

Our spiritual mother

On Mother’s Day, we also honor Mary, our spiritual mother. When I think of motherhood, I think of Mary.

The Heavenly Father did, too. From all women, he chose Mary to be Jesus’ mother. Jesus needed a mother who was full of grace and fully open to God’s will to help him grow in wisdom and understanding in his human nature.

A mother wrote that when she first held her baby, she experienced what Mary felt on that first Christmas when she held the Christ child.

During May, we honor her by praying the Rosary, by May crownings, and other devotions.

The morning my Mom died, my brother held her hand and told her that he loved her. Mary told Jesus that she loved him by being under the cross. She was there when Christ needed her.

Mother’s Day is a graced day to receive Holy Communion as a family. If our mother has died, we can offer our Communion for her.

If she’s alive, we can give her a rose, carnation, or a visit. If she has died, like the little girl, we can place a prayer or a rose of love on her grave.

Whether she’s in time or eternity, let’s wish her a happy Mother’s Day by being the best son or daughter we can be.


Fr. Don Lange is a pastor emeritus in the Diocese of Madison.