When I became a mother, I had a lot of questions. I was confused between the voices of my maternal instinct and the standards of society. The questions can be summed up in the following words: ‘What is the role of mothers in the society?’
‘Asking God questions is not wrong. Not seeking the answers leads to sin.’ It is a prose that I once read in a Church pamphlet I picked up after a Sunday mass. And one that I shall never forget. So there began my soul-search for my new question.
What is her primary role?
I saw a book, ‘The Christian Mother’ by Fr. W. Cramer. At first, I was doubtful. ‘The Church hierarchy is occupied by men, and perhaps looks down on mothers too just as the man-dominated society does,’ I thought to myself.
The first chapter of the book is about the Churching of Women, a tradition of the Church performed to bless women who have given birth. This chapter was the beginning of my new understanding of a mother’s place and value in the Church. The Church does not think of mothers lowly, I realized. She, the Church, has designed a ritual just for new mothers. What a manifestation of the value of motherhood!
Note: If you haven’t heard of this rite, it is because it was discontinued after Second Vatican Council. You can request one from a traditional Catholic priest.
And what is the primary role of a mother according to the Church? That is the education of her children to ultimately lead them to Heaven! They are the Church’s primary partner in teaching about Jesus and in the salvation of humankind.
This little book goes around the central theme: the purpose of our life is to glorify God and the salvation of our souls. As a mother, the role becomes heavier as you have to do the same for your children. The author goes on showing how to practice virtues while carrying your role every day. It also lists prayers that you must say on a daily basis and during Mass.
In the state of motherhood or in the Church hierarchy itself, we see that she has placed on the topmost pedestal of her shrine a woman and a mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary!
She is the model of womanhood and motherhood that everybody must imitate to. She is the Heavenly mother of priests and missionaries who guide the works of bringing Christ into the four corners of the world.
The Church is reigned by a motherly queen.
What is the role of women in the society? What becomes when she turns into a mother?
My original question was: ‘What is the role of mothers in the society?’. Eventually, it lead me to the notion of a woman, because a mother is a woman. ‘What is the role of women in the society?’ becomes the sequel to my asking.
If you look at the society, it expects women to contribute to the society. It demands of her skills and education for economic growth. It ‘encourages’ her to be a perfect mother, but to have a perfect career on the side doesn’t hurt too.
Compete with men in the corporate ladder. Act like a distant and objective boss. What then when she becomes a mother? Put her children to nannies. Being an ordinary homemaker is out of the picture. The list goes on.
Is this really the role of women in the society? There should be something more. Because it seems women always have to fight for a place in the society by trying to think and act like men. Something’s wrong!
The book ‘The Nature, Dignity, and Mission of a Woman‘ by Fr. Karl Stehlin answered these gazillion questions.
Truth. That’s how this book can be summed up. Full of truth, truth, and just truth.
From the book, you will understand the nature of a woman, what she is made of, and which Godly attributes are carved into her core.
You will understand the dignity that differentiates her from men. That dignity is no way lower than that of man’s. It simply is a complement. What the man lacks, the woman supplies. And vice versa.
You will understand her mission in this world based on her nature and dignity.
At the end, it goes that motherhood is the greatest expression of a woman’s nature, dignity, and mission. This could be in the form of physical and spiritual, and in most cases, both.
Why are the labours of a mother invisible? What do moms do all day?
When confronted with countless doubts, one seeks the truth. No one wants to be lied to. And what is truth? Truth is God. Jesus said Himself, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’
‘Seeking the truth is already seeking God,’Saint Edith Stein, the great German philosopher turned Carmelite nun
In my article ‘The Invisible Work of a Homemaker‘, I had questions more than I have answers to the invisible work of a homemaker. That post was a soul-searching endeavour for me for I was in a blackhole that time. I was exhausted as a homemaker: doing mundane repetitive housework everyday and carrying babies all day long. I barely have the time to sit down and have a peaceful lunch. Why can’t people see that I’m working all day too? On searching the answer, I go back even to the story of Eve and her sorrows.
The book ‘The Nature, Dignity, and Mission of a Woman’ answers this particular question. The works of a mother are invisible because it is VEILED!
Anything that is powerful and beautiful in this world is hidden. The Ark of the Covenant was hidden. The life of the Blessed Virgin Mary was hidden. The labours of a mother are veiled!
The nature of a woman is receptive, seeks a beloved ‘Thou’ (her husband or God), and thrives on serving others and giving of herself. All these done in mystery and in the silence of her heart and mind.
Men is pushed to the limelight of politics, science, and religion. They solve the problems of the moment, of today, of the present. Meanwhile, mothers pass on values to their children so that it lives on for generation unto generation.
She is nameless. She shines in the background. She is meticulous to details. She guides men and her children. She is the silent bearer of life.
And we all know who perfected that work: our Heavenly Queen and Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary!
The author goes on to answer why women cannot become priests, the third way for women besides being a mother and a religious nun, and more.
For every success of a man is a woman behind.
At the foot of the Cross, the woman stands in front, unwavering in her faith, watching her Son suffer and die.
Their mother-child relationship is what brought salvation to humankind.
Whenever you bury your maternal instinct, bring yourself at the foot of the Cross and stand with the Blessed Virgin Mary and lay down your thoughts.
Have a wonderful day friends. Hope you have a blessed life everyday. I offer this prayer for you.
Ave, María, grátia plena,
Benedicta tu in muliéribus,
et benedíctus fructus ventris
Sancta María, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.