“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
What a perfect Scripture verse to contemplate as we move toward Mother’s Day 2017. That day also happens to be occurring on the same weekend we mark a special anniversary for our Blessed Mother: the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Fatima apparitions. Motherhood, and in particular the spiritual motherhood of the Blessed Mother, is pure, lovely, admirable, and excellent. And we thank and praise Mary’s son, Jesus, for the gift of His mother to all of her children.
Given the horrid state of our culture, and the world in general, it can be sometimes challenging, and let’s face it almost seemingly next to impossible, to think about the good in the world when evil seems to be dominating. The attacks on the Church, the sacredness of life, family, and marriage, are constant. As mothers, both physical and spiritual, we worry and fear for our children. During our everyday conversations with God we share how our hearts are breaking with this worry and fear. We ask for Mary’s intercession and protection over our children and others we hold dear. We ask what’s next? What else could the Culture of Death and the other dark forces throw our way? And we wonder where and when it will all end? These are all natural concerns and questions, but sometimes if we aren’t careful we can give in to discouragement and forget that, as I like to say, the light still shines in the darkness, and God is still very large and very much in charge.
That’s why I so appreciated a beautiful reflection in this month’s Magnificat which encourages us to actually do what St. Paul is suggesting in Philippians 4:8. The editorial by Fr. Peter John Cameron, concentrating on a mother’s love, includes a beautiful quote from the 15th century theologian Denis the Carthusian; a quote that is even more timely today than when the teacher walked the earth some 600 years ago.
“Too much contemplation on lofty and difficult things, too much speculation on divine intellectual matters, could break or weary the mind. And so I suggest that the believer should occasionally give himself the joy of conversing sweetly and very lovingly with the Virgin Mother and her adorable child. For just as love made them closer to each other, and more like each other, so may our Lady’s love do for us.”
This does not mean that we care any less about the many problems of the today’s troubled world; problems that impact all of us. This doesn’t mean we put aside the powerful messages of Our Lady of Fatima who told the children to continually pray the Rosary for world peace. It just means that we are not giving into a spirit of fear. It means we recognize that God is God and we are not. And that we understand in addition to giving the soon to be saints, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, visions of the horrible fallout of sin, the Blessed Mother also offered them much comfort and love.
We know well from Scripture and our Marian theology how often the Blessed Mother “pondered” much beauty and awe in her own heart during her days on earth as she watched her Son grow, preach, and teach. This means that it’s okay, a very good thing as a matter of fact, to take the advice of Denis the Carthusian and St. Paul, and to just rest in beautiful thoughts about the Blessed Mother and Jesus this Mother’s Day. We should do so this weekend and whenever we feel, as mothers, that we ourselves need a special dose of motherly love that only Our Lady can give us.
Happy Mother’s Day. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Learn More About the Apparitions of Fatima
- EWTN’s “100 Years of Fatima” Website
- Video: EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., & Fr. Andrew Apostoli on Fatima
- Video: Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR “Fatima for Today“
- The Connection Between Fatima, the Divine Mercy, & the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Talks from Fr. Chris Alar & Anthony Mullen: MyConsecration.org YouTube Channel
Books on Fatima
- Fatima for Today, Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR
- Our Lady of Fatima: 100 years of Stories, Prayers & Devotions, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle
- Our Lady’s Message to Three Shepherd Children and the World, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle
Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
- Graceful Living: Meditations to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day, Johnnette Benkovic
- Affordable Catholic Artworks by Nellie Edwards
- Magnificat Magazine
- Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ, Not Conformed to the Culture, Teresa Tomeo
- Girlfriends and Other Saints: Companions On My Journey of Faith, Teresa Tomeo
- Walk Softly & Carry a Great Bag: On-the-Go Devotions, Teresa Tomeo
- Amazing Grace for Mothers: 101 Stories of Faith, Hope, Inspiration and Humor, Patti Armstong, Emily Cavins, Jeff Cavins & Matthew Pinto