Just a quick note: Here is an outstanding homily given by Fr. Eric Flood (FSSP) that I had tried to post last evening before my internet service went down in the middle of a thunderstorm.
An excellent lenten reflection for all mothers:
SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION
05/08/2005: Maple Hill, KS given Holy Family 1/13/08 Columbus, OH
In the name of the Father…
On this feast of the Holy Family, we turn to the Blessed Mother and look toward her example so that we may imitate her virtue and create a holy family in our own home.
We know her to be the Mother of God, for she gave birth to Our Lord.
And now that she is in Heaven, she will continue to be the Mother of God for all eternity.
We have many images of Our Lady holding her Son in her hands; statues and pictures with Our Lord sleeping peacefully in her arms and resting against her shoulder.
And many times in the Bible are we commanded to imitate and follow Christ.
So as He rested in her hands; He also commands us to rest in her hands. How else are we going to follow Him?
If we prefer to not be so close to Our Lady, then we will not be so close to her Son.
For it is difficult to separate these Two from each other who are united in a love which began in eternity, and was nurtured in the womb.
Sure, it can be embarrassing to be around Our Lady when we misbehave, but her motherly love will soon forget our flaws.
So we have to gaze upon her as Our Lord must have also.
For at their home in Nazareth, as the eyes of Christ’s Soul were in continual union and contemplation of God; what was going on with the eyes of His body as He saw His Mother working and praying around their home?
Was He not in awe of the splendor He created in such a perfect woman?
More beautiful than the sunset, more intricate than a rose;
So that overflowing in satisfaction while He marveled at her; He uttered the word which was fitting only for her by the mouth of God: Mommy.
And here it is how most women can imitate her: by becoming a mother and letting it be done according to God’s word.
Our Lady also teaches mothers what to expect after the birth of her child: a life of trials and joys which never cease.
How easy would it be for any mother here to flee into another country just weeks after giving birth to her child? Yet, Mary fled to Egypt, and on foot.
How boring some consider motherhood to be when secluded at home instead of working in the world, or spending hours on the phone, or frequently visiting friends; yet Our Lady seldom left her home, and she kept a holy reserve about herself.
Of course, there are many occasions in which women must leave the home, but how often do we leave our home in order to escape it?
Where else should a mother want to be than close to her children, living in her palace which she is queen of?
Her home may not be as glamorous as a palace, but when it is looked upon for what it is, the defects fade away.
For her home becomes proof of her husband’s love for her and the children.
And anything built upon love will never be unattractive; neither will it ever be entirely conquered by the devil.
Furthermore, her husband protects his home, even though he may be miles away at work, for his love is unceasing.
And this gives security to a wife and mother; that is, when she knows of her husband’s love.
The wisdom of the world says that motherhood is not glamorous, but this is contrary to the wisdom of God.
For how lovingly God looks upon a mother who has offered her womb as a place He can work with His creative hands.
Each year her garden is plowed in anticipation of God forming yet another man within her; and sometimes there is a new flower that grows; other times, God waits for another season.
But it is God who gives the increase; and blessed be God in His goodness.
And when the child is born, the strength of the mother will depend upon her closeness to God.
This is why Our Lady makes motherhood look so easy, even though she bore the burdens of a Son who was hated, hunted, and hanged upon the Cross.
But for those not so close to God, how difficult it is to remain at peace in their heart even during small sufferings such as a headache or fatigue; so that when the great ache of motherhood escalates, these mothers will no longer be content with life.
Mothers have to be careful to remain close to God by not being close to the TV, for daily adoration of the television will deaden her ability to guard and care with her motherly heart.
Also, a mother cannot be close to God if she is not close to Our Lady,
For mothers must allow Our Lady to hold them as mothers hold their own child.
So do not deprive your Heavenly Mother of the privilege of mothers: that is, to hold her own child; so let her hold you.
Cries of injustice would be made if a mother was unjustly separated from her child; and so it is in Heaven, for cries of injustice are made when mothers refuse to be close to their Heavenly Mother.
So put her picture or statue in your bedroom and upon the place where you gather your children every day to pray.
Liturgically speaking, isn’t the center of a Catholic Church supposed to be the Altar and Tabernacle.
We even ridicule churches which are built with the Tabernacle off to the side or hard to find.
So too should not the physical center of a Catholic home be the place where the family gathers and prays to Almighty God.
And the most important things we can put there are images of Our Lord and Lady.
So feed your child not just food from the family table, but feed your children’s souls from the food of the family Altar in which the family prays in front of.
And since motherhood does not offer many moments of silence, use the sparing occasions of the day to listen to God’s voice by going before this sanctuary in your home instead of spending on the phone or on the Internet.
And whereas the home is the physical center, the spiritual center is the heart of the mother.
When we think of a good mother, we think of a woman who is gentle and kind, always reading to bestow great love and attention upon her children, and prudent enough to discipline.
For a mother’s heart is full of kindness, enkindled with love, and having this gift, a mother imitates God’s own Mother.
For God knows the great patience which is necessary for mothers, not only in dealing with their husbands, but in keeping a watchful eye over their children who so quickly fall into dangers.
So an extra measure of patience, gentleness, and kindness is given to mothers, and a good mother will put these virtues into practice, and cultivate them even further.
But it is a frightening thing when a child sees vice in his mother instead of virtue, for these quickly take root in the child’s heart and are pulled up only with the most difficult trouble.
And here lies a great duty of mothers, for since God has designed it that the father will be away from the house most of the day working,
So He has placed the responsibility of teaching virtue to children, most especially upon the mother.
So it is best to have the necessary requirements for the job before one accepts the job.
Mothers can also easily impress the Catholic Faith upon their children.
Read holy books to them, even though they be only 1 or 2 years of age.
We make a big deal about the child’s first steps, so too, we ought to make a big deal about our child’s first steps in his Catholic Faith.
So in our age of imitating the famous, then imitate Our Lady who has already been famous for 2000 years.
For why would a mother want to have many friends to talk to all day, when she could have the Mother of God as her close acquaintance to speak to all day?
So that as her heart is never far from her children, a mother sacrifices the remainder of the life that is within her for her children.
They draw their strength from her, sapping the energy left in her.
But when she goes before God at the end of her life: she will be able to present a trophy to Him: a Soul in love with her children, which never wore out giving itself for her children.