Written by: Joshua Carreon
Mothers play such an important part in our lives, a role which has been recognized and honored in almost every culture and faith. It is mothers who care for their children when they are weak and vulnerable, who protect them from the outside world, just as Hera protected Zeus from his child-killing father Chronos. It is also mothers who nurture us, cultivate us, and give up a part of themselves so that we may grow, in a way reminiscent of the earth mother Gaia of Greek myth. Additionally, it is mothers who watch us as we become adults, who support us and stand by us just as Mary, the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ, did so long ago. Truly, a mother’s worth cannot be denied, and those who are gifted with an engaged mother are truly blessed. I personally have been gifted with four mothers: a godmother, my own mother, a grandmother, and a heavenly mother.
My bond with my mother runs deeper than most I would say, due mostly to our unique similarity. You see, we share many of the same mannerisms, moods, interests, and quirks thus allowing us to deduce what the other is thinking, feeling, saying, etc. My mother therefore has always seemed to know more about me than even I do, she knows my needs before I ask, and knows how best to comfort me. Perhaps this is also because my mother has faced similar trials in her life and finds the same things unnerving. Though I value our special connection, I would say the greatest gift from my mother would be the passing on of her wisdom. My mother never “baby-talked” to me, she never once gave in to my fits and whining, and she bravely ignored my crying for attention, all so that I would mature and grow. It is my mother who I attribute my vocabulary, my wit, my inquisitiveness, and my appreciation of rationality.
I have also been blessed with an involved and maternal grandmother who is almost like a third parent. My grandmother was always there to comfort me and to make sure I was having fun. My grandma was a good teacher as well, instilling in me her own motherly wisdom. My grandmother also served as a valiant defender in times of familial crisis, serving as a refuge and advocate on my behalf even to this day. Additionally, I have been blessed to have been granted a godmother. Though technically my great aunt, she has always been a figure in my life and treated me with the love and warmth of close kin, despite our official relation. Hers was always a warm presence which has recently developed into a guiding one as well. I recently underwent a conversion to Catholicism and I found myself coming to her for help. She, being a lifelong catholic, compassionately agreed to be my godmother and guide me through my catechist as she does even today. I shall always appreciate her counsel, warmth, and role in my coming home to the Mother Church and Christ.
This brings me to my final mother, a mother to all and of God, our heavenly mother the Virgin Mary. It is the virgin Mary who I partly attribute my conversion, for it is she who lent me special help during the process. The Virgin Mary is truly the most blessed and pure mother who had ever lived, being the mother of God and having been spared death and assumed into heaven. She is a model for all mothers and grants all of us her maternal love. To quote Pope Saint John Paul the Second, who said during a speech to youth, “Jesus gives his Mother to you so that she will comfort you with her tenderness. She will discharge her ministry as a mother and train you and mold you until Christ is fully formed in you.”