May 2020 Monthly Message - Blessed Mothers & May Day
“Lord God Almighty, bless your handmaid, who is with child, assist and comfort her, ease her labor, and grant her a safe delivery, let the birth of her child be a cause of joy to her all the days of her life.” We offer this prayer when a mother begins her labor. Actually, from the time a woman discovers she’s pregnant; the Church begins offering prayers and asking blessings on her behalf. If we look closely at the prayer services of the Church we see there is no other event in life as surrounded with prayers and blessings as childbirth and motherhood. The absolutely exalted place childbirth and motherhood have in the mind of the Church is clear from Her many prayers and blessings.
At birth we pray that the mother will be, ‘sheltered and protected from this day and for every day of her life’. When the child is named, we pray that God will, ‘restore complete health and vitality to your handmaiden who has given birth and bless this child and record this name in Your book of life.’ While a mother recuperates at home, we ask God to ‘nurture all in her house according to Your holy will because in approaching her we also approach Your Holy Name.’
When a mother returns to church with her newborn we give thanks and rejoice that she ‘enters into the temple of Your Glory and is worthy of Communion of the Body and Blood of Your only begotten Son’. At the Baptism we pray for the mother and father, the family, the grandparents, the sponsors, the relatives and friends and everyone witnessing the sacrament. We also pray for parents who adopt children and ask God to, ‘unite their natures making them as one family’. We pray earnestly for a woman who suffers a miscarriage that God will ‘restore her health and give her an Angel of peace to comfort her and ease her of any troubles she may suffer’.
Mothers are called the most important part of God’s creation. She offers a dwelling place for an immortal soul. The angels cannot share in God's creative miracle. Only a woman can. Mothers are closer the Creator than any other creature. God joins them in performing His act of creation. What is more glorious than this: to be a mother!
BLESSED and HAPPY MOTHER’s DAY!
image caption: “Mother and Child” by Pablo Picasso - 1922
Traditionally, the first day of May – “May Day” – is recognized internationally as a day to honor workers. Not to be confused with the American ‘Labor Day’ that focuses on industrial laborers, May Day honors the dignity of everyone who works for a living in whatever capacity. This May Day, in the midst of the COVID crisis that ravages our lives, countless ‘workers’ worthy of honor come quickly to mind. First among them are the medical professionals, doctors and nurses, technicians and hospital staff, EMT’s and police and fire fighters, everyone we know and see on the front lines of this pandemic – all working, risking and sacrificing so much of themselves for our wellbeing. This year May Day is preeminently their day and we honor each and every one of these heroes. “May Day” is also the internationally recognized distress single, let that ‘call’ go out today on behalf of all those who suffer the consequences of the COVID scourge.
St. Joseph is traditionally regarded as the Patron Saint of Workers, St. Joseph, a carpenter and skilled craftsman is remembered as the one who first taught his son, Jesus the skills necessary for a productive and fulfilling life. He is the one who, by his work and dedication, provided safety and stability for his family. May St. Joseph intercede for us on this Worker’s Day, especially for those who are struggling in the work place and most especially for those who are now unemployed.
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