March 6, 2016

Journey with Mary: Sacrificial Love of Spiritual Motherhood

                Recently, I found a reflection I had written during my first retreat as a postulant. The last conference that had been given was on Spiritual Motherhood. As I approached the 4th Station where Jesus meets His Sorrowful Mother, this is what struck my heart:

                What is the sacrificial love of a mother? It is the self-sacrifice made to love her children. Mary’s self-sacrifice to be there with Christ, her Son, in His passion was the selfless love that united her with Him. Her heart was pierced with 7 swords in the agony of watching her beloved Son endure a cross that He did not deserve, but which He embraced for the love of the Father and mankind. Could she not have said to Jesus, “You don’t have to do this, there are other ways. Do you know how much pain You are causing me and those who love you?” She knew He could have chosen any other way to save us, but this was the Father’s will, and so in silent love Mary trusted. If the world is suffering, why do you choose to remain with it in compassion? The invitation to motherhood responds with the proposal, “Why does a mother make any of the sacrifices she makes? Why do we follow Christ who chose to be poor, a suffering servant? So that He could be there for any of His children in their need and say, “I understand,” so that He could save us. As a Mother, Mary shared intimately in that call.

                So as daughters of Mary, Religious are called to self-sacrifice so that we may love all the broken hearted, the poor, the neglected of the whole world. To be a mother is to experience joy and sorrow, but like Mary let us carry it with Jesus and not become hardened or bitter but follow and remain with Him. We should pray that others may have the courage to do the same in poverty, chastity, and obedience. A spiritual Mother is free to love generously because her sacrifices are made for the other, and she seeks to love all who are entrusted to her by her Beloved Spouse Jesus Christ. May you allow Mary to be your Mother on the journey and teach you the way of spiritual Motherhood.

- Sister M. Caterina, FSGM

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