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A mother’s heart

February 28, 2012

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I am humbled to introduce you to another Boster saint, our baby Monica Therese. At 6 1/2 weeks gestation, on Friday, she became our third intercessor and our little Clare’s special companion in this journey of life. There’s nothing that can quite put words to the depth of love in a mother’s heart, her capacity to give beyond measure, and her understanding of the things not readily understood. I have no great words of insight. I only have love. A love that weeps in unexpected moments and rejoices in others.

I was searching for something totally unrelated tonight and came across this meditation I’d written while on retreat in August 2008. It was written as my own personal reflection in front of the Eucharist in the silence of the night. Four year later, it speaks volumes to my heart tonight as I have been reflecting on the gift of yet another angel baby and the profound depth of a mother’s ability to love. I’m not normally inclined to share such personal moments, but given the circumstances of Lent and so much already on my maternal heart tonight, I think I need the reminder. It is such a gift to be a mother…to hold so much in our hearts. Tonight, that’s what I treasure. The gift of FEELING, LOVING, and GIVING. God be with us always.

St. Monica, faithful mother and prayer warrior for her son Augustine, pray for us.

St. Therese, companion to Jesus and lover of all things, pray for us!

Baby Monica Therese, pray for us!

__________________________

With each step toward Calvary, the weight of the cross I embraced with love became heavier, the temptations greater, the sorrow more profoundly penetrating, and yet so did my love. You see, Calvary began my real message. Calvary was the summation of all my earthly messages. Calvary is where I walked the walk for the last time. Here I met my enemies head on. I, in front of everyone, lived the essence of unconditional love. I watched my enemies, I saw into their eyes and directly to their heart each time they struck me or cursed the holiness of my name. I saw each soul in the crowd; blessing those that wept without hope, those who were merely confused spectators searching for meaning to my life they didn’t yet know. I saw the men who cowered in weakness and fear, the women who hid behind their veils hoping to keep their masks in tact. I saw the children who were tempted to throw rocks too. I saw the young girls wanting to offer a gesture of kindness but held back by their age. I saw every face and thereby every heart in the crowd.

But where is my mother? She. She would bring me consolation. My mom, the woman who bore her heart to me even before the magnificent moment of my Incarnation. My mom. Where was she? I can feel her presence, the presence only her child recognizes. It’s a presence, a love that surpasses all words, it just exists in its unconditional, self-sacrificing way. It brings me strength, and yet I can’t see her. Maybe John is holding her, her physical pillar of strength during her own path on Calvary. Yes. John would be with her. I’ve always known that John would care for my momma. John has sat with me for so many hours. I’ve shared with him the intimacy of those days in Nazareth. He’s heard me say over and over again, “She’s a hero of genuine love”. She’s the pillar, but she is woman. She must know a sword of pain that I have yet to feel on my own road to Calvary. Her pain is one graced by the sensitivity and love of a female heart, a heart that has the capacity to love beyond expression of words or the understanding of mere mortal man. John is with her. I know he has already sensed her need and the great responsibility of now caring for her and yet simultaneously being cared for by her lovely hand and her infinite heart. John knows firsthand the intimacy of love my mom possesses.

Momma. My job here is not yet complete. Do not cease in your prayer nor your sacrificial love. My eyes may not see you, but our hearts are forever united through the union of the Father’s love. And so I continue on, one step at a time, one soul at a time. You see, each step of mine becomes more laborious, more weak under the weight of the sins. The sins of those I see in the crowd, those hidden in their homes, those a world away, and those of the generations to come. Imagine…so many souls that will ignore me, reject the price I’ve paid, forget my greatest story of love, and stand at the cross cursing my very name. The name that came to do no more than save their very life. Yet, I continue. The blood I sweat in the garden is nothing compared to the degree it flows now. Look, there is a trail of it where I walked, each drop a little tear that’s now being trampled. Wait! There are a few not being trampled…Wait. I wish to savor what I see … children!

One. Two. No. Three. They walk, no dance together. They dance in joy from one drop to the next, gathering each drop of blood in a flask. These children. They are the ones that understand. They see what no one else sees. They scurry in between the legs and feet of the soldiers on their own mission of love. The children. These three, representative of all who are to come after them, are gathering the fruits of heaven. Their innocence, their joy, their uncomplicated love are consolations to my heart and so I continue. The road grows longer with each step and I fall, not once, not twice but three times. It’s not a fall from my own imperfection, but a result of the sheer magnitude of the cross. Perfection can’t carry this cross, not this one. It’s here, on the ground, kissing creation with my very blood, that I see her.

My mom. I look to her. My soul runs to her as I did as a child. She sweeps me off my feet and I’m held, suspended in air, by my mother. Her arms are the same as they were then; so soft and so strong. Her heart is the same too, the beating I heard every moment for the first 9 months of my earthly existence. Her scent. I’d know it anywhere. It’s the familiarity of unconditional love, a love that would sacrifice everything in order to give just a bit more, but this time the privilege is not mine to enjoy. We are both called to sacrifice the physicality of the embrace of a mother to her child. The enormity of sin dictates my total self-giving. Even her undying love is but a mere glimpse of consolation, but her prayers and her unwavering love for the Father, pave my remaining steps as I reach the hill’s crest and await my final act of love today.

I already begin to feel the pain as the cross is thrown to the ground and the impending moment that much closer to fruition. I see the soldiers drawing near. They are laughing and chiding each other as they throw the dice back and forth to one another, as if it were a game between children. Do they really have no idea what they’re doing? Before I know it, I’m standing exposed and humiliated. They’ve taken even the little consolation my clothing had been to me. I recall those days in Nazareth that my mom swaddled me ever so tightly and with such love. Her hand always stroked my cheek before she picked me up, all bathed, and snuggled ever so closely to her own heart. How I long for that consolation now. I felt so secure, so loved, so protected and so perfectly at peace. There was a certain grace in those hidden years in Nazareth, just mom and I and dad. I’m thankful for that grace. I’m thankful for having experienced a mother’s love, knowing that now that same grace will accompany me in my last breaths and flight to heaven, a heaven which I will open to even my enemies. My enemies, that is, that embrace my hand of mercy and forgiveness.

For a brief moment, I’m thankful to be resting on the cross, but it’s not long and my muscles being to cramp as they respond to the enormity of having been beaten and carrying the weight of that cross. Wait. Someone has reached for my hand. Could it be that I’m being extended a hand of greeting and assistance up? No. It’s simply one more betrayal. As my arms are stretched, I’m painfully aware of my muscles. Is it possible they will snap? Blood still courses through them enough to be supple and reach the end of the cross beam. There’s a sudden, blinding flash of light as the sun reflects in the metal of the nail. The nail that shall be the first account of being attached to this cross, the cross that I embraced so many hours ago. Oh my! … seeing the hammer on its course to meet the nail was no warning for the agony of what was to follow. Twice. No. Three times it would be my lot. Where is the mercy? Just a little? No. It’s not my mom’s place, nor John’s, nor Mary’s. This is my cross and I carry it according to my Father’s will.

Soon I can see the crowd again. This time, I see it from the heights of the clouds. I see into eternity even. The crowd is the same until the end of time. By grace alone, there is also faithful men and women amidst the betrayers and enemies. My mother is with each of the faithful. Oh the grace bestowed upon the holy! She accompanies each of them to the cross to embrace me here. John lifts them to my bosom. They’ve made their way through the temptations of the world to hear my beating heart. With fidelity, John lifts each willing soul to rest on the chest he, too, knew so well. In this moment, from the agony and ugliness of the cross, I impart a special grace. A grace of life, a grace of transcending love. Some ask to stay indefinitely. There’s always room here at my bosom, but there’s a mission still left undone. It’s the mission entrusted to the souls that linger with me, that bask in the graces of each Divine heartbeat. The time has come. John lifts each one down. They mingle yet again among the crowd and although my minutes are diminishing, the story of love I’ve written, never dies. It lives and beats forever in the hearts of those that took the time to linger with me.

So…linger awhile longer. Come back soon. Fulfill the day’s mission in between our moments together…linger just a bit longer.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. molly d permalink
    February 28, 2012 6:17 pm

    Oh Sara, how very sorry I am to hear of your tremendous loss. I have no words to offer, only my love and tears to unite with yours. May the arms of Jesus and Mary hold you tightly in this time of grief. We will continue praying for you all. {{{hugs}}}

  2. mom permalink
    February 28, 2012 6:42 pm

    Monica T we love you and can’t wait to see you…give Granno a kiss from us too!

  3. Lisa permalink
    March 10, 2012 7:29 pm

    Dear Sara, just reading this now. Holding y’all in my heart, which is heavy for the loss of your sweet Monica Therese. Thank you for sharing this beautiful meditation. Sending all our love and prayers to you and the family.

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