Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

January 1, Mary, Mother of God

 

John Paul II implores women to “bring the richness of your sensitivity, your intuitiveness, your generosity and fidelity” into the heart of the family and all of society, in our various roles, as mothers, wives, sisters and friends, employees, and consecrated religious. So, how do we accomplish this? I like the advice of Saint Edith Stein, who wrote much about femininity and what it means to be a woman. She says it is essential to “find a quiet corner in which one can communicate with God as though there were nothing else, and that must be done daily”, preferably “in the early morning hours before we begin our daily work”1. Saint Therese of Lisieux shows us too, by her “Little Way”, that ordinary moments can be prayerful, if we act with great love. She says for her, “prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”2

Similarly, Stein continues by saying we must accept our lot in life, the ordinary mission of the day, and willingly be God’s instruments. It is fairly easy to see at the end of the day, how little our actions are, how much work is still left to be done. But if we ask our Lord to pour His light into our hearts, so that we may be filled with the fruits of His Spirit—which are patience, charity, peace, etc., He will work in us and multiply our efforts beyond what we could imagine!

New research reveals that if a mother simply looks lovingly at her infant, their heart beats synchronize. In a similar way, the saints explain that God’s loving gaze, God’s own smile, has the power to transform our hearts. Let us be vulnerable as an infant before our God and imitate our Mother’s trust and confidence which enabled her to say “Yes!"

Batrice Adcock, MSN, RN, is the Natural Family Planning Program Director.

References:

Stein, E. (1993). Self Portrait In Letters, 1916-1942 (J. Koeppel, Trans.). Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications.
St. Therese de Lisieux Quotes. Retrieved December 9, 2011, from http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/248952.St_Th_r_se_de_Lisieux

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