Article by Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D.
Trust in Divine Providence
Dependence upon God is a central point in the life of Christian Motherhood. Being united in marriage, you need not ask your husband the question, as many do, “Shall we or shall we not have children?” Accept with loving arms each little one as it comes along.
Do not worry too much about what you have to eat or drink or how you will clothe these children. Put yourself entirely in the hands of God with complete childlike trust.
This truly Catholic spirit of mothers of yore is fast disappearing from our land. The strength of this nation lies in its manhood and womanhood. It is almost treason for anyone to suggest just how many children the fathers and mothers of America should bring into the world. Yet there are countless women in this country who deliberately deny themselves the privileges of motherhood.
Today Satan’s salesladies roam the country, encouraged by the newspapers. radio, television and women’s magazines, preaching the advantages of birth control and planned parenthood. Their influence must be checked by the generous and self-sacrificing spirit of our Catholic mothers who make confidence in Divine Providence the first guiding principle of their lives.
Your life is in the care of Someone other than yourself, Someone infinitely superior to you and your husband in both wisdom and strength. Life is a gift granted by God, not a gift from yourselves to yourselves. Hence it is unreasonable to seek exclusive control over your own lives.
Your task as a mother is to live according to God’s laws. After that, all the difficulties belong to God. You must live your life according to God’s guidance. The plan of your life is of God’s making, not your own. You can do only the little that is within your power to do. The rest belongs to God — a fact for which Christian mothers have ever been supremely grateful.
God was very good in not delivering your life completely into your own hands. You would never have succeeded in planning the endless details of your life.
Imitation of the Blessed Mother
In everything that pertains to the care of your child, born or unborn, let your mind be raised and your heart enkindled by the Catholic ideal. This ideal is realized in Mary, the Mother of God.
Jesus could have come into this world in many ways; but He chose to begin life like all other men, cradled beneath the heart of a woman. When the eternal God took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary and willed to be the object of a mother’s tender nursing, care, and love, then was motherhood raised to the zenith of splendor and beauty, then was the law of nature made perfect by the law of grace.
A real, perfect Mother of flesh and blood was given to the mothers of the world to show them the glory of their state. She was instrumental to the forming of the Incarnate Christ; you are to be instrumental to the forming of the Mystical Christ. Mary made pregnancy sacred for all time because she gave birth to the Son of God.
You have the privilege of being the mother of the sons of God. Therefore, try to sanctify your pregnancy but patterning it after that of the Mother of God, the ideal of every Christian mother.
Mary’s journey to visit Elizabeth shows not only her loving compassion and charity, but also her desire to share the joy of her own approaching motherhood with her cousin, whose prayers for a child had at last been answered.
Mary will take a personal interest in you, too, if you turn to her often during the coming months. She will console you, help you, and share your joys.
Dedicate these months of your life to Mary in a special manner. Follow Mary to the altar for Mass each morning, if you can, and receive Her Divine Son in Holy Communion as she did after the Ascension of Jesus.
At home raise your eyes frequently in the day to the image of the Mother of God, who can understand your condition better than anyone else. You will find wonderful strength from seeing that Our Lady, too, is carrying an Infant in her arms.
The Rosary, in particular, should take on new importance, for in your humble way you are sharing some of Mary’s experiences. You will spend some of the happiest hours of your waiting in the recitation of the Rosary. It will remind you of the joy Mary felt in her soul knowing she was carrying the Savior of the world.
It will remind you of the words of the angel, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among women.” You, too, will remember that you are blessed by God by reason of the privilege He has given you to share in His own creative power and in the tremendous work of giving God a human body which will be the temple in which an immortal soul will dwell, made according to His image and likeness.
The fruit of your womb is also blessed, as Elizabeth said of Our Lady, because it is the work of the Almighty Creator. Ask the Queen of Mothers to pray for you and to help you resemble her more. Ask her to make your child resemble her own Jesus.
Each day during your months of waiting recite the Magnificat, her hymn of praise, in which you will find her sentiments of joyful gratitude for carrying Christ in her womb.
And as you go about your home doing the routine tasks that may seem troublesome, remember that Mary was pregnant and kept house during her months of waiting.
The Church has always had a deep veneration for the Blessed Mother within whose holy body God Himself took flesh. She sees in every mother a type of Mary, in every childbirth another Christmas. in every child something of the Divine Infant born at Bethlehem. No wonder that she would have you turn to Mary, Queen of Mothers. as your model and patroness.
Think frequently of the wonderful things that are going on within your body. Science cannot penetrate the depths of the functioning of a single living cell. much less duplicate its marvels. Since a fertilized ovum has neither hands, feet, or tools to use, nor brain to guide it in its complex and mysterious operations, we are compelled to say that its actions bespeak the work of a Supreme Intelligence whose laws guide its movement from a tiny cell to the journey’s end — a full-blossomed human being — your baby!
The marvels, miracles, and mysteries accomplished are far beyond the power of man; they mirror the power and wisdom of an infinite Creator.
Meditating upon this mystery King David exclaimed thousands of years ago: “Thou hast formed me, and hast laid Thv hand upon me. Thy knowledge is become wonderful to me: it is high, and I cannot reach it.”
The tiny baby in the silent darkness of your womb is a greater marvel than any building or work of man. It is a witness to the infinite power, wisdom, and love of God for man. This thought should fill your heart with joy and humble gratitude because your body is now the workshop of God’s wonders, the sanctuary of an immortal soul created by God.
With Our Blessed Mother you can cry out, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior … because He who is mighty has done great things for me.”
Waiting may at times seem like a martyrdom, but remember the words of Our Lord, “A woman about to give birth has sorrow, because her hour has come. But when she has brought forth the child she no longer remembers the anguish for her joy that a man is born into the world” (John 16, 21). What joy will overflow your heart when you hear the first cry of your newborn child. How happy you and your husband will he when you receive into your arms this precious bundle — a part of you, a part of him — a soul fresh from the hand of God!
This child is an expression of your love for one another, since true love seeks to express itself outwardly. God has truly blessed you by giving you this baby and the privilege of parenthood. The rewards of motherhood are indeed very great even in this life.
No mother can determine the future of her children. She must love them and let them go. They are not only her babies; they are new men and women in the great family of God’s children.
Think of your pleasure when you see your child make its first Holy Communion, or the joy you may experience when you see one of your sons for the first time offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or one of your beautiful daughters leave home to become a bride of Christ.
Then think of the weddings in the family. Finally, think of the son or daughter who will take care of you when you have grown old. And when they bring their own children to your motherly arms, you will still be able to see yourself reflected in these men and women of tomorrow.
Thus life goes on and you are joyfully grateful that you had the privilege of helping to spread God’s kingdom and people heaven in the special way God has chosen for you — and that way is MOTHERHOOD.
So much we owe to motherhood. What a grand privilege, then, accrues to every woman who becomes and is a mother after God’s own heart! -Rev. Fulgence Meyer, Plain Talks on Marriage, 1927
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Author Mary Reed Newland here draws on her own experiences as the mother of seven to show how the classic Christian principles of sanctity can be translated into terms easily applied to children even to the very young.
Because it’s rooted in experience, not in theory, nothing that Mrs. Newland suggests is impossible or extraordinary. In fact, as you reflect on your experiences with your own children, you’ll quickly agree that hers is an excellent commonsense approach to raising good Catholic children.
Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, the renowned author of The Hidden Power of Kindness, gives faithful Catholics all the essential ingredients of a stable and loving Catholic marriage and family — ingredients that are in danger of being lost in our turbulent age.
Using Scripture and Church teachings in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format, Fr. Lovasik helps you understand the proper role of the Catholic father and mother and the blessings of family. He shows you how you can secure happiness in marriage, develop the virtues necessary for a successful marriage, raise children in a truly Catholic way, and much more.
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