Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in spirit, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:3-12

Oh Lord,

Teach me to seek You and reveal yourself to me when I seek You.

For I cannot seek You unless You first teach me, nor find You unless You first reveal yourself to me.

Let me seek You in longing, and long for You in seeking.

Let me find You in love, and love You in finding.

~Saint Ambrose of Milan

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>

Name: Erin Yonke

Location: Aurora, IL

Info: I'm happily married to my husband and champion pro-life activist, Matt. I stay home with my three small boys; Ambrose (11/06), Peter (3/08), and Joseph (9/10).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Thoughts on motherhood, and thoughts on the mother of God.

I was thinking the other day about how much science has blurred the spiritual nature of pregnancy and childbirth.
Someone recently mentioned to me that being pregnant is an intensely close encounter with God, because His spirit is constantly at work in your body, day and night, to create and prepare a soul for the world.
It's amazing, and a humbling thing to take part in. And yet, all the changes that take place inside a pregnant woman are written off as "hormones", and the effects of hormones. When really, wouldn't it seem entirely unfitting for anyone in whom God is so at work to not be emotional, a little tired, and taking part in what appears to be a 40-week long feast?

Then again, it could just be the hormones talking.

But, I can't help but think of my child as something and someone bigger than my own flesh and blood. This baby will grow to be someone else's sibling, someone else's nuisance, someone's role model, even if only momentarily. They'll probably be someone's newspaper deliverer, someone's babysitter, someone's waiter, someone's carpool. And they'll become someone else's best friend, someone's heartache, someone's lover, someone's beautiful bride or someone's adored husband. They'll be someone's boss, someone's teacher...someone else's parent. And as a sinner, and the mother of a sinner, it's still such an honor to be the channel through which God will give another person to the world, to fill those roles, small as they may be, in other people's lives.

And, that brings my thoughts to Mary, the mother of God, whom I have disregarded for so long. She has been just another figurine in the porcelain nativity, acknowledged briefly on Christmas day, and wrapped up in newspaper once again for the remainder of the year. I think of her when she felt the first flutters of baby God in her womb. I think of her and as she tried to sleep when she just couldn't get that tiny foot out of her ribcage. I think of her when she stared in amazement at her newborn son, who was completely made from her flesh and blood, who carried her DNA, her mannerisms, her expressions...He looked like her. I think of her as she changed Jesus's diapers, nursed Him, and pulled pieces of grass and leaves from His little fingers so that He wouldn't eat them. I think of her teaching God to walk, kissing His bruises, teaching Him to say "Mama". She baked His bread, she fed Him dinner, and she rocked Him to sleep. She was the channel through which God reached mankind, and thus, in part, the channel through which God saved your soul.

The sad misconception of the Catholic faith is that we think Mary's so great because she did all these things.
God made Mary great. God found favor with her, and God made her holy. And, in doing these things through her, he submitted Himself to her. God made her holy, and God saved her. And when we honor her, we honor her for the things God did through her, and therefore we honor God.

We don't "worship Mary" and we don't "pray to Mary"...we pray to God, the sole giver of life and salvation, and so does she. Mary prays for us.

Regardless of what you believe or what you think of everything I've written, I would urge you to be cautious when you argue against the Catholic view of Mary. Don't be quick to defame the woman whose body created the One that was broken for you.

Comments on "Thoughts on motherhood, and thoughts on the mother of God."


Blogger Matthew N. Petersen said ... (September 14, 2006 2:58 PM) : 

An excellent post.

And St. Paul says that he has something of a Mary role for he gives birth to Christ in the Galatians. In fact, it could be argued from that verse that the whole Church has the role of Mary: that the Church is she, for what she did physically and originally, we do Spiritually and derivitavely.

Also, I just thought of this the other day: Is John 3 a reference to Mary? You must be born again--you must be born of Mary.

And as a philosopher there is no conflict between saying all that pregnancy stuff is hormones, and that it is Christ. Just as even in our world stars are not just balls of burning gas, that is only what they are made of; so hormones is not what all those pregnancy things are, but only what they are made of.


Blogger Franco said ... (October 29, 2006 2:23 PM) : 

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