Jesus said: ‘This is your mother’

May 8, 2012

HOUSTON — This Sunday is Mother's Day, an annual holiday when mothers are typically given flowers, gifts and taken out to a nice dinner. Sometimes they get to spend the day relaxing while kids and husbands do chores around the house. 

But mothers do more than work, chores, cook, clean, give hugs and punish mischief. They mold their children's spiritual lives. Mary, Jesus' mother, was a pillar of strength, accepting every challenge in her journey of faith. From the moment Jesus was born to the moment He died on the cross, Mary was a faithful follower of Christ. One of the last things Jesus said on the cross is, "This is your mother." She is our mother.

Just as Mary shapes the faith of Catholics through generations, so do mothers help mold and shape their children's walk in faith. Here are a few words written by the Texas Catholic Herald readers about how their mothers have inspired their faith throughout their lives. 

John West and mother Christine
John West and mother Christine

My mother has a very deep faith. She is very involved at our parish, St. Ignatius. This is not what impresses me about her, though. It is her intense belief in prayer that impacts me the most.

I went to St. Edward's school from Kindergarten through fifth grade. Every morning, my mom would drive me to school. In these rides, we would always pray a Morning Offering, the Litany of St. Joseph, and other prayers. My mom would always have at least one intention for each prayer. She taught me the importance of prayer, and made sure I knew to start the day by giving it to God. Her intentions taught me to not be afraid to ask God's help.

Rare is the day that you don't hear "Rosary in five minutes!" called from the kitchen as my mom finishes the dishes. She has been the main force that keeps my family close to the Rosary, and therefore Mary. Every night, in the Rosary, there are always intentions: for my family, for our country, for the world. The deep trust that my mom has in God and the Virgin Mary is something I hope to emulate.
— John West

My mother passed away when I was thirteen years old, but she made a very large impact on my spiritual life. We lived on a farm, several miles from the nearest Catholic Church, but we attended Mass whenever the dirt roads were passable. Mom made sure we all prayed together, made the Sacraments, etc. 

Margaret Bukowski
Margaret Bukowski

My mother was a very hard working lady. I was the youngest of seven children. She had a large garden and canned all the vegetables, worked in the fields and picked cotton. She was a wonderful cook, which was done on a wood stove and I don't remember her ever burning anything. I never heard her complain about the hard work, even washing on a scrub board.

Families shared and helped each other and the neighbors, as well as any strangers passing that needed help.

My husband and I are blessed with a large family of five, 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. We feel we have raised them to be good Christians. Our children all have families of their own now, they are there for us when we need them. We are grateful that they are very caring, respectful, dependable, courteous, always there to lend [a] neighbor a helping hand.

Respect your Mothers. If your mother is still alive or have lived to see you married, raise a family you are truly blessed.
— Margaret Bukowski

Karen Rodriguez and mother Elizabeth
Karen Rodriguez and mother Elizabeth

My mom helps me believe in God by praying before meals and at bedtime. I learned a lot about God because my mom cares about me and put me in a religious school when I was in Mexico. Now the school I go to doesn't have religion teachers. But I still believe even without it because my family helps me to do so... If it wasn't for my mom I would have a hard time believing. I pray because my mom and family pray. Also every morning before school my dad prays with us. I always feel secure because I know that God is always with me.

My mom told me that I should never feel scared even without her, because she will always be with me, dead or alive. I still always have [the] Virgin Mary which is my mom also, and I will also have my angel.

I am grateful for my family. The best gift I've ever had is believing in God.
— Karen Rodriguez

Felipe Vilalta and mother Cristabel
Felipe Vilalta and mother Cristabel

My mom, it seems, is always doing something. Nevertheless, every single day I see my mother leading us in the Angelus, asking someone to lead the table blessing, helping my siblings pray at night, and reminding us to use holy water every day at night. It helps me to think more about God and how to always make time for Him.

When I am walking around and happen to catch a phrase from "The Way" (a book of reflections), when my parents are praying, I always think about those words. I usually don't understand them completely but just having heard them makes me have a different view of things.

On the weekends, our mother gathers us together to pray the Angelus. I enjoy this because we stop all we do in honor of Mary. Praying the Angelus also reminds me every day of the great sacrifice the Virgin made for our Lord. Even though my mother is always extremely busy, she manages to not only find a way to pray, but gather us so we can all pray. I think this has helped me and all my little brothers and sisters place more value in praying constantly.
— Felipe Vilalta

Dolly Hancock
Dolly Hancock

As my siblings and I sat with our mother (Dolly Hancock) during her final hours of life, she continued to teach us in our faith. She gave us the privilege to travel this one last journey with her and to believe that our loving Lord was with each of us during this darkest time in our lives. 

No words needed to be spoken. Just to be in her presence as she accepted death with grace and dignity, she taught each of us to be strong in our Catholic faith, to always pray, and this we did together