08 A Mother's Demanding Role - Pope Francis

posted May 16, 2019, 3:28 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 16, 2019, 3:28 AM ]
Pope Francis gave a shout-out to moms around the world on May 12, 2019, after praying the midday Regina Coeli with those gathered in St Peter's Square:

"Celebrated in many countries today is 'Mother's Day.' I would like to send a dear greeting to all mothers, thanking them — an applause for all mothers! — for their precious work in the upbringing of children and in guarding the value of the family. We also remember the mothers that look at us from Heaven, and continue to watch over us with prayer. Our thought goes also to our heavenly Mother, whom we will celebrate tomorrow, May 13, with the name Our Lady of Fatima. We entrust ourselves to Her to continue on our way with joy and generosity."

Reflecting on the role of mothers today, Pope Francis said: "A life without challenges doesn't exist," and that is one reason a child needs a mother, Pope Francis suggested in a speech this month.

Mothers fulfil a vital role by helping children "look realistically at life's problems," without getting "lost in them," the Pope said. A mother helps her children "to tackle" problems courageously and to become strong enough to overcome the problems they inevitably confront.

Of course, in this role, a mother walks a fine line, seeking a "healthy balance" for a child, said Pope Francis. That means a mother "does not always take the child along the safe road, because in that way, the child cannot develop, but neither does she leave the child only on the risky path, because that is dangerous."

A mother, said the Pope, "knows how to balance things."

Pope Francis talked about mothers' roles during a May 4 visit to the Basilica of St Mary Major, the oldest church in the West dedicated to Jesus' mother. May is observed in the Church as a month of Mary.

During his visit, Pope Francis accented Mary's motherhood. In her own life, Mary "saw many difficult moments," he noted. And "like a good mother, she is close to us, so that we may never lose courage before the adversities of life" and "might feel her support in facing and overcoming the difficulties of our human and Christian journey."

But while Mary's motherhood was central in the talk Pope Francis gave, it seemed clear his observations were directed to all mothers. I found his comments relevant for fathers too.