Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Gladdens her heart"

"To the childless wife he gives a home
And gladdens her heart with children."
-Psalm 113

God is truly amazing! This verse above is found in the evening Divine Office for Pentecost. The Psalm praises God and tells of the one who will raise the lowly and lift the poor, and gladdens the heart of the childless with children. 

I know there are many women who do not have their own children, but pray they did. It is a suffering I have heard lingers for a lifetime. I pray this is not the case, but in my experience with a different suffering, when I truly believed it was permanent, healing was difficult, but not impossible. But when we pray for healing, what are we really asking for? With God all things are possible, but maybe not the way we want it. Always when we submit to God's will we are filled with greater gifts than we had first asked for.

For the ones who are not physical mothers, but also those who are but feel "unfulfilled, " I offer to ask yourselves what is so great about womanhood...through the eyes of God, that is.

See, we shortchange ourselves if we only think of motherhood as relating only to fleshly motherhood. The soul of a woman if uniquely graced though particular gifts to equip her with spiritual motherhood. The Church teaches us that not only is our mind and body feminine,  but so is our soul. (Catchism of the Catholic Church #2332 says "Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the 

unity of his body and soul.") So know that when God created you, he purposely made you woman, full and entire. And if you are feeling unfulfilled as a mother or depressed that you cannot be a physical mother, use it as an opportunity to go deeper into the mystery of being woman. 

Look at Mary:  Then (the Apostles, etc.) returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away.  When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.  All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers." Acts 1:12-14 Like Mary and the other women, they sought to provide for the disciples and recognized what they needed, in necessities and in prayer.
In so recognizing, they attended to the support of their needs. They are models for what it truly means

to be "mother." In our vocations, whether that is the married state, the single, or religious, whether that means raising children or not, we are all called to be "bearers of love" by attending to needs of those in our care through prayer and humble service to our first duties and vocation.

In addition, the Church tells women that they are greatly needed to pray for the sanctification of priests. The link, in the previous sentence, has a great document with examples of what the prayers of women have done. The connection between the souls of women and the priesthood is pivital for priests. We are bearers. Bearers of God's children. In fulfilling our souls need by being bearers through prayer, we become mothers of Many....and are gladdened with Mary with many children. For in the plight of suffering, Mary lost her Son, but gained John as her son, you and me too! And at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fulfilled her motherly role by "gladdening her heart with children." 

In prayer we bring them all, family and priests, before God in the cradle of our arms and hearts. Please women, please pray much more. 

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