Thursday, I gave the introduction to my Mom’s Group Bible Study. I woke up at 4:00 a.m. one morning and could not go back to sleep. I wondered what to do with myself and decided to read the study for this week (see book here). The topic was focused on mothers’ sacrifices and sufferings and using the Beatitudes as a guide. My mind was moving a mile a minute as I read. And afterward my brain was like a freight train going a hundred miles an hour. I started writing to empty my head and thought perhaps I should share with the other moms at our meeting. Here is my mother's sermon on our suffering and sacrifices. You may recognize some of it if you are a regular follower.
“Why should sacrifice be united with the beauty of love?” In motherhood, did you find that you finally grew from girl to woman? Have you found yourself experiencing and doing things that you never imagined you would do, or were capable of doing? Have you been surprised by your sacrifices? As the author points out, motherhood begins with suffering in childbearing and birth, and a mother continues to suffer through every hardship in both mothering and also the child’s sufferings. Yet, in all this suffering motherhood is beautiful, joyful and desired. Perhaps it is our suffering and how it transforms us that makes motherhood so great a station in life.
Motherhood brings a special kind of suffering and beauty. We are all aware of our special kind of suffering. We have a connectedness to our children in such a way that their every ache and every stumble pains us. However, the beauty comes in procreation--a gift we share with God. We are gifted and entrusted with the lives of our children. We are entrusted their beautiful souls to help mold and guide. And because this responsibility is so great our burdens are also great.
We should not treat our suffering as an affliction to our lives, but rather as a vessel for our salvation. Though suffering may bring pain and difficulty, it is in our suffering that we are brought closer to God. Because we are believers, we are driven to the arms of God, with an open heart and a longing to rest in Him. Truly if you treat all your suffering as though it were for naught, then that is what it will be.
As mothers it is even more important that we approach our sufferings with love as though they are gifts from God. It is important to not allow a mother’s suffering to lose sight of our mission. We must be there for our children and be an example for them. For our sufferings are an opportunity like no other to step closer to the Lord—to be bathed in His love. If you suffer with a pure heart, your suffering will not feel like pain, but will be like a moment to rest in the warm embrace of the Lord.
So, “gird your loins,” and turn to the Lord. Do not ask Him why you must endure this suffering, but PRAY that it may be offered in communion with the Passion of Christ, that sins may be forgiven and you may be bound to eternal life. The beauty of suffering is that it will bring you to the love of the Lord so long as you do not turn away.
You may think that this is an impossible ideal to approach your trials with love and even joy. But, I assure you, as mothers, you already have. You have brought your children this far. You are raising them to know the Lord. You have not abandoned your station. You have held this post out of love and transformed suffering into love. And it is love that will carry you forth through motherhood, through being a wife and through life, as St. Paul tells us, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13:13)