I always knew I would be a mom. And then one day, thirteen years ago, I became one. Over time I also became a person with whom I was unfamiliar. I wasn’t that patient, generous, instinctively amazing mom I thought I’d be. As I grew more tired, household tasks multiplied and the needs of other, smaller human beings became more immediate, I realized I was the weary, stressed and anxious mom. I was human. I have to admit that it was only a daily dose of God’s grace, a gifted husband as my helpmate and a strong cup of coffee that helped me make it through those days.
I still recall a priest who gently reminded me of the gift that motherhood truly is. Tears filled my eyes when I confided in him that I was struggling. His words still echo in my heart “How beautiful it is, the mantle of motherhood. ” He continued on, reminding me that I was blessed to be given this vocation as educator and role model for my children and how important this job really is. I cannot tell you how many countless times I have stopped what I’m doing and reflected on his words, “mantle of motherhood,” as I took a step back, silently prayed and readjusted my mantle. I have contemplated the mantle of the Blessed Mother Mary and while I view it full of beauty and grace, she too endured hardship and sadness in the life God designed for her.
This is a blessed life. This is my vocation. This place is where God has called me and brought me the spouse and the children He wants me to love and nurture here on earth. Sometimes this journey is thankless, exhausting and difficult. Being called to so many roles within my vocation is not always easy, but yet so rewarding. The seasons do change and my role is always constantly changing with those precious seasons.
From the outside you will see that most days I rarely have it all together: my mantle sits askew atop my head. It’s tattered and worn and lacking in radiance. You will also find that it doesn’t at all look like the one you may wear. There’s no need to compare because we all wear our own mantle and our own vocation differently, but each of us should be honored to wear these garments that were chosen just for us. We may not all be mothers or fathers, but we are all models of faith, of love and hopefully of Christ.
Embrace what is set before you today and keep in mind the words of St. Joan of Arc: “I am not afraid, for God is with me. I was born for this.”