Blessings in Brelinskyville
Finding God's Abundant Blessings In Ordinary Life
Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty mothering parenting poem sacrifice the most important person What is a mother

Taking the Lower Position: To Be A Mother

Just as I managed to steal away a little free time, hidden away in a quiet room, laptop in hand, my sweet infant awoke squawking for attention.

Scooping him up, I sighed and decided I could at least manage to multi-task the moments away by reading while we nursed. However, just as I set little Pio in the crook of my right arm, with the intent of reaching for my book with my free hand, he grasped it with a strength and intensity that gave me pause.

mother babyHis eyes locked on mine, I realized it would take some force to unclench his fist from around my fingers. Staring into those innocent, penetrating, brown eyes, it seemed wrong to want to tear my focus away.

As I set his searching lips to my breast, he sucked with such ravenous purpose that it seemed he’d been starving before that moment we united. He needed me and I needed to be available for him.

Everything else could wait. And truly was there anything more pressing that required my devotion?

Mom, Can You?

Later that afternoon having started to type out my thoughts, my 7 year old thrust a book in my line of vision and begged, “Can you read this to me?” Remembering that I’d placed his previous requests on hold twice already, I resigned my plans and took the book in hand.

The original thoughts that had been forming in my head swiftly vanished as he leaned in closer and studied the pictures on the story book pages as I read aloud. Every few lines I stopped reciting and prompted my new reader to decipher a sentence or two for me.

Though I had wanted to be composing my own tales, I recognized the greater value in that moment. My son had exhibited patience all morning and now he relished in my full attention.

The Day Swirls By

Soon, a ride was needed to deliver a teen to work. Then, the ringing of the dinner bell. Dinner devoured, it was time to shepherd big and little ones into completing nighttime chores. Before I knew it the eight o’clock hour chimed with a call to family bedtime prayers.

Finally, just as I contemplated a return to my writing, the baby entered his fussy period and my husband invited me to sit beside him on the couch. Resolved, I reclined in the living room between the two of them.

Desires Diminished

Back to comforting the baby, as my husband watched the television beside me, I took an account of all the times that day my desires were diminished in order to serve another. Truthfully, it wasn’t without brief moments of hesitation and regret that I cast my own ambitions aside, but then the gospel parable of the wedding feast guest seemed to ring clearer.

Jesus explained that one should never place himself in the seat of honor because a more prominent guest may arrive requiring you to move aside. How embarrassing it would be to have to step down after having presumed you deserved more than your due.

For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be raised up. Luke 14:7-11

I’ll Take the Lower Position

All the lofty positions and generous praise in the world would be for naught if I failed in my duty to prepare these 8 precious souls for eternity. Indeed, they humble me and lead me to my own sanctification.

This Mother’s Day (and every day after) I’ll joyfully take my seat on the bench at the far side of the table between the sticky fingers and the spilled tea. I’ll lay down my work to give a hug, set aside my pleasure to offer help, or sacrifice my time for the sake of another.

I’ll proudly be a Mom.

The Most Important Person On Earth

The most important person… on earth is a Mother.
She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral.
She need not.
She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral –
A dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body.
The angels have not been blessed with such a grace.
They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to bring new souls to heaven.
Only a human mother can.
Mothers are closer to God the creator than any other creature.
God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation…
What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?

Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty


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