|Saint Edith (Teresa), pray for us!|
If you are Single and really don't want to stay that way, or married and living with infertility, plus living in a country which celebrates Mothers Day today, today may feel particularly rough.
Therefore, feel free to vent in the comments box if your feelings become overwhelming.
As I mentioned yesterday, our western cultures are increasingly hostile to women--even married women in stable marriages!--who have more than two children. However, motherhood itself is held up by Catholic communities as THE great blessing for women, as well as an admirable state in which to practice loving self-sacrifice etc. (This completely ignores the fact that the greatest possible vocation for a Catholic woman, after martyrdom, is religious life as a consecrated virgin, like my friend Sister Mary Thomas, OSB.) And in the classical American mindset, it's just as all-American as God and apple pie. Thus, it can feel very hard--very very hard--to be left out of a club one dearly wants to join.
However, you are already in it by virtue of your adult femininity. All women are mothers, and all women deserve to have their motherhood honoured. The greatest philosopher-saint to write knowledgeably about women as women was Saint Edith Stein, and you can find part of my essay on her theology of woman here. (You can find it in Polish here.)
One bracing instruction I have is to remember that Catholic women without children are no more at war with Catholic women who have children than Catholic married women are with Catholic Single women. (And believe me I know that the married mothers sometimes need to be reminded of that, too.) We are not opposed; we are in different regiments. They have their God-given gifts and tasks, and we have ours.
Another is more of a suggestion. This is a good day to tell your own American or Canadian spiritual mothers that they are your spiritual mothers and why. (My day is now Mothering Sunday, Gaudete Sunday in Lent, so don't worry about me!)
The combox is open, and if the worst happens at Mass, remember Sheila.
P.S. Priests really hate it when women come up to them weeping after Mass to tell them they made them cry.... Not that I'm saying you should.... La la la. But, honestly, this annual sheep/goat division at Mass has really got to stop.
Update: Thank you very much to Julia for the Mother's Day present (an Amazon gift certificate). What a nice surprise! It turns out it is Mother's Day in Australia and New Zealand, too.