Virgin Mary breastfeeding Jesus

Virgin Mary breastfeeding Jesus
Nursing Madonna (wikimedia commons)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Motherhood of Mary


This Advent and Christmas season, with all the Marian feast days, I have been thinking a lot about Mary, her daily life, and my relationship with her.  Lisa Hendey, in her book, A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, suggests talking with Mary as you would a dear friend over coffee.  I had never thought of Mary that way - like a fellow mother who lives in my neighborhood - probably because she is the Queen of Heaven!

There are many differences between Mary's Life in first century Bethlehem, Egypt and Nazareth and my life in the western United States in 2015.  We have many household appliances that make it easier to run a household, a larger selection of food from which to choose, and regular access to transportation, books and the internet to name just a few.  However, I would bet some of the fundamental parts of our lives are the same.  She most likely coslept with Jesus and Joseph and breastfed Jesus when He needed milk and comfort.  She cleaned house, socialized with the other townswomen, cooked meals, and shopped for food. Mary played with Jesus, rocked and sang to Him, kissed His "boo-boos," and taught him things.  Suddenly, my "ordinary" daily routine as a stay-at-home mother seems not so unimportant after all.  Mary, the Mother of God, did many of the same earthly tasks as I do!   

One thing I bet Mary did not do was get distracted from her daily tasks as a wife and mother, and "goof off" doing less important things.  By reading the Scripture stories that involve Mary, reading about her in the catechism, and "chatting" with her regularly, I am reminded of the importance of the present moment and staying focused on what God wants me to do each day to lead my family to Heaven.  Taking the time to savor a toddler nursing session, because I do not know when my daughter will wean.  Getting off the computer to play with my six year old son.  Enjoying the late night cuddles with my cosleeping toddler.  Stopping what I am doing to really listen to my son who is telling me a long, involved story.  I bet Mary did all these things with Jesus, and stayed in the present moment.  Scripture mentions a few times when "Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart."  I would do well to do the same - thinking, praying, and really being present in all those little and big moments.

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