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  • Elena VanLandingham

The Perfect Mother



Today, as I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, I began to reflect on the last mystery – Jesus’ crucifixion. Mary, Mother of Jesus, was there the whole time, watching this horrible event play out. The baby she was graced with by God. The baby miraculously conceived and born in the humblest of settings. The boy she raised to become the man and teacher was viciously beaten, humiliated, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, he was then nailed through his hands and feet to a cross he was made to carry to his own place of execution. Can you imagine her heartbreak? She was there! She watched as they hammered each nail into his hands and feet. She watched as he was hoisted up for everyone to gawk at. And she was there as he drew his last breath. I can’t even imagine her pain.

I tried explaining to my 3 boys yesterday how much I suffer when they hurt. I told them that I never want them to hurt – not physically or emotionally. They are my flesh and blood and their pain causes me pain, too. I don’t think they understood and I don’t think you ever really can understand until you have children of your own.

But, that’s my point. My children, my boys aren't truly mine. Yes, biologically they are-- I remember each of their births vividly-- but they belong to God. I was entrusted by God to birth them into this world and raise them up, but at the end of the day, they are God’s. As mothers that's what we do--raise God's children. And there is no better example of this than that of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was asked to bear the Son of God, and she willingly took on the task. She birthed him into the world, nursed him through ailments, followed him as he taught, then watched him die a horrific death. But, her story doesn’t end there. She could have disappeared after his death, but she was there to rejoice in his resurrection. And then, when he finally ascended into heaven, she was there again. When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, she was there and as The Church was born, she was there again to nurse this tiny infant church into the thriving church it has become today. God chose Mary--in fact He created her--to be his own mother. That is how we know that she was the perfect mother.

Let us all follow this ultimate example of motherhood today.


Elena VanLandingham is a loving wife and mother of three little boys.


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