May has always been my favorite month. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my birthday is in May, but I’ve always loved it. In my Pennsylvania hometown, May is the month when there is finally no more threat of snow and spring really starts to show its splendor. The weather is warmer and days begin to be spent outdoors again. It is a month of beauty and joy. May is also a beautiful and joyful month for us as Catholics as it is a month of devotion to our Blessed Mother, Mary.
Since becoming a mother, I find devotion to Mary to be an even more essential part of my spiritual life. There is so much we can learn from her about how to live out our vocation, and there is so much to be gained from a relationship with her. In celebration of the month of Mary, here are a few ideas on how we can honor and emulate her in our daily lives as mothers.
- Serve your family selflessly. It is easy for us to forget that Mary spent much of her life simply being a wife and mother. She took care of Jesus as an infant, toddler, and teen, cooked and kept house, and served her family and friends. Mary’s life is a testament to the fact that seemingly ordinary work, when done selflessly, truly glorifies God. We share Mary’s vocation as wives and mothers; let us emulate her by going about our daily duties this month without grumbling, but rather in thanksgiving that God has loved us so much as to give us our husbands and children to serve.
- Abandon your motherly worries to God. As mothers, it is easy to let worry take over. We are always thinking about our family and what is best for them. We worry about our kids constantly — whether we are doing a good job raising them, how they are doing in school, if they are developing healthy friendships, if they are safe and making good decisions when we’re not around, and a multitude of other worries. It is almost certain that Mary had such worries as well. At the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, Simeon told her of the trials awaiting her and her then small child, saying,
“This child is destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed- and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2: 34)
Talk about having something to worry about! But Mary did not let fear consume her, instead she trusted in God and his will for her life and the life of her son. Let us also cast our worries on the Lord this month and trust his will for us and our families.
- Praise God for your blessings. Mary’s song of praise, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), is a perfect representation of how she lived each day- praising and thanking God in and for all things. She recognized God’s blessings and “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) Mary was always in tune with the good God was doing in her life and was in a constant state of praise and thanksgiving. How often do we find ourselves focusing only on the negative aspects of our lives? This month, look to all that God has blessed you with, and make it a point to thank him throughout each day genuinely from your heart as Mary did.
- Bear pain, frustrations, and disappointment with grace. Mary endured much pain and sorrow in her vocation as Jesus’ mother, most of all watching her son’s unjustified crucifixion and death. She stood by as her only child was humiliated, beaten, and his life was taken away. Yet she never lashed out or sought revenge, rather she bore her son’s pain as her own and offered her profound grief back up to the Father. Let us keep quiet about our sufferings, disappointments, and inconveniences this month. Rather than complain about them, unite them with Mary’s sorrow and offer them up to the Lord for the salvation of souls.
- Look to Mary as your mother. As Jesus lay dying on the cross, he gifted us with his own mother. (John 19: 26-27). He gave her to us as our spiritual mother and entrusted her with helping us to grow in holiness and thus grow closer to him through her. Mary loves each of us as her own and wants us to come to her as we would our own earthly mothers. Make it a point to develop your relationship with her this month- talk with her, seek her intercession, and look to her for consolation as we do our birth mothers. A relationship with Mary is extremely powerful, and there is no one better to help us on our journey through motherhood.
Do you have a special way of honoring Mary in the month of May? Please share!
This post also appeared on Catholic Mom.