Source of light in every age,
the virgin conceived and bore Your Son
who is called Wonderful God, Prince of Peace.
May her prayer, the gift of a mother’s love,
be Your people’s joy through all ages.
May her response, born of a humble heart,
draw our Spirit to rest on Your people.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. +Amen
The term “Solemnity” always conjures up in my mind something serious, perhaps even dreadful or somehow mournful. It’s not that I don’t properly understand the term, but rather that it simply invokes this type of image in spite of my understanding. But truly, this Solemnity is a joyous celebration for me as a mother.
Throughout the year, we celebrate again and again various feasts honoring Our Blessed Mother. It is wonderful and fitting that now, as we begin a new year, we celebrate the Motherhood of Mary. Everything that Mary is, everything that she is to the Church, everything that she is to us flows from her Motherhood.
This particular celebration, the celebration of her Motherhood, is important for everyone, of course, but I think it is particularly important for all women. All women share, in some way, the vocation of motherhood with Our Lady. I do not only mean those who are blessed with physical motherhood. The Vocation of Woman, so fully embodied by our Blessed Mother, is simply the vocation to motherhood.
To be a mother is to give life, to nurture, to love and to raise up. That life which we give and nurture is both physical and spiritual. We women are to mother others, whether that be our own children or others that the Lord places in our lives ~ or both. As Virgin and Mother, Mary is the perfect model for all women. Her motherhood defines her place in salvation history. It defines her place in our lives. She is the most faithful of all mothers, always looking for our ultimate good, always interceding for her children, always loving, always nurturing.
Mary, faithfully living to the very fullest her vocation as Mother to Jesus and wife to Joseph has walked where I am to walk, she knows the joys and sorrows of motherhood. Yes, yes… it is true. Mary had one Perfect Child. She herself was sinless by the merits her Son won on the Cross. She was married to a Saint. And yet, let us not forget that by being Mother to the Son of God, she had much more to bear than we do. The difficulties and sufferings she bore as His Mother are beyond what we experience. On top of that, she is Mother to all of us.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”
John 19: 26, 27
He gave us His own mother to be our own for all time. While that means that she has many saints and virtuous souls as her children, it also means that she has more wayward, afflicted and hurting children than anyone, ever, throughout history. My children are her children, too. She truly knows my joys and sorrows, my hopes and my fears, my blessings and burdens. And through all of the experiences of my motherhood, she mothers me, too.
Once again this year, I ask Our Blessed Mother to mould me, to lead me, to show me how to live my life completely for God within this vocation of Motherhood that He has given me. I place myself under her mantle and look to her for the example of perfect faithfulness in all circumstances.
O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Waltzing Matilda (Charlotte) has provided a wonderful coloring page for this Solemnity. You can get the link to the coloring page on her blog HERE. (She has this uploaded to Scribd. You have to sign up for an account [free] to download anything stored there. Registration is VERY fast and easy. The image says it is “Private” but you CAN still download it as a registered user) It is very beautiful! I will also be copying a coloring page from the book Marian Devotions in the Domestic Church. It is a beautiful, stained-glass type of coloring page. I briefly checked Domestic-Church and did not find this on the site. I’m sure glad I own the book! 😀