A Meditation on Mothers – what does it mean to be one?

Sister Marie Therese in her school office

By Sister Marie Therese, M.I.C.M.
Principal, IHM School

When I look at the beautiful children in our school, I see only two types of people: those who will become fathers and those who will become mothers. Not that they will all follow a married vocation!

Our poor unhappy world is desperately in need of fathers and mothers in every state in life. Since there are many articles, speeches and books written on the need for good fathers in society today, and I have so little time and space to write, I will limit myself to what I am more qualified by nature to address: the perfection of beauty in creation called “mother”.

A meditation on mothers . . . Sister Marie Therese mothered Sister Mary Bernadette.

Perhaps because I am a woman and have a perspective unique to my gender, I am seeing, at every level of society and in every state in life, the desperate need for mothers. Here are a few thoughts for you, which I will just present in a random, meditative pattern since I have been thinking of this for a long time.

My fellow woman
I doubt
that you realize even a little
what you can become.
Take a minute
in your busy schedule,
to visit with me.

Sister Mary Joseph with one of her nephews

Please don’t mistake
my thoughts
for negativity.
I tend to study the shadow
cast by the light of God
on the object
of my thinking.


A woman
who is not
a mother
is not fulfilled.

Sometimes children are animals!

A woman who is not a mother
lacks the perfection of beauty
that God intends her to radiate
into our dark world.

If she refuses to allow her heart
to blossom with motherly love,
she will wilt,
begin to fade,
grow stiff and hard
and become a gaunt statue
of what might have been.

Sister Mary Bernadette and one of our dear little ones!

A woman needs
to give,
from her heart.
In giving
she receives.
The love of a mother
casts out the fear
of giving oneself.

A mother’s security in love
generates in her children
the hidden peace
that every human being craves.

A mother is a beautiful thing–
yes, truly living,
moving beauty.

A mother fearlessly gives,
from her heart,
from moment to moment
until she is utterly drained of love

Sister Maria Philomena with a very tired little girl

and then
begins to drain
the overflowing
Heart of God.

A mother…
but who am I,
an unmarried woman,
to speak of mothers!

How many children
does a woman
vowed to chastity

Sister Maria Rosaria and a little queen

Come visit some time
so I can introduce you to them
one by one.

It will take a while–
so make sure
you have time.

Each is so unique.

Some are already married,
some are almost too old
to be alive.

Sister Mary Peter with a little mother-in-the-making

Some have died…
Many live far away
and I rarely have a direct contact with them,
though they are close in my heart.

Do I have time
for them all?

Ah, has God
given me time
for anything else
is the question.

I see my young boys
become men
Then holy.

A young family (actually, this picture is from 2007; this family has grown a lot!)

My advice to you,
my daughter,
is that you despise fear
when you have a chance
to love.

there is a reason
that a Mother
is going to bring about
peace in the world
through Her Heart.

To you men who may read this: if you are fortunate to have a wife or daughter, you have a most precious thing! Yes, precious and delicate. May you use your masculine strength to guard her and your gentleness to help her become–a mother!

A statue of our Heavenly Mother looks lovingly on her children

Comments 1

  1. Sue Koralewski wrote:

    Thank you for your inspiring meditation~ I will be sharing it with many people…maybe even the poor women I work with that have gotten absorbed into the working woman “ideal”. Heartbreaking to hear them talk…..

    Sister, I am so proud of you~ I hope you have known that right along. As you may have experienced yourself with your own children, sometimes NOT giving voice to my thoughts communicates more than using words. I will pray for you always, to continue to strive to become so much like Our Lady. I suspect that, in the end, Dear Jesus will not be able to differentiate between you!

    Love you, Mom XXX

    Posted 17 Feb 2012 at 7:12 pm