A Mother

A mother was teaching her daughter how to make the sign of the cross. She took her right hand, put it on her forehead and told her, “Say with me, In the name of the Father…” and Louise said, “In the name of the Father…” Then she put her hand on her chest and continued, “… and of the Son”, and Louise, “and of the Son”. “And of the Holy Spirit…” continued her mum. But Louise did not say it. “Repeat after me … and of the Holy Spirit”. Silence. “Repeat after me, Louise, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” “But mum,” said Louise, “we mentioned the Father, and the Son, but where is the mother?!”

Louise was always rather bubbly. But what she said made sense. Just as we need a mother to give us a body, our nervous system, our whole physical organism, and she is instrumental also in building our character, so too in our faith we need a mother to give birth to our super-natural life.

Jesus gave her to us on the cross. Her name is Mary.

The French poet François Copèe was walking along the beach of a small fishing village in Brittany. He was looking at the fishermen who were preparing themselves to set sail on the Atlantic Ocean. He was apprehensive how these fishermen could face the power of the ocean on such fragile boats.

He went up to them and asked, “Friends are you not afraid to sail on these tiny boats?” They did not reply, and just carried on with their work. But one elderly fisherman, who must have had a lot of adventures at sea and faced a lot of storms, stood up and said, “Come with me, sir.” They went on board the boat, moved towards the stern and said,

“Can you see what is stuck there?”
“Yes, a picture of Mary.”
“And can you see what is there in front of her?”
“Yes, a lit lamp.”
“That is the answer to your question, my friend. When we have her in our boat, we can put up with everything. We are blessed with her!”

“When the storm of evil starts throwing you here and there in the sea of life, look at the star, look at Mary and your mind will be at rest!” says St Bernard.

The apostle of the Rosary, Blessed Bartolo Longo who claimed that “whoever spreads the rosary is saved”, has this to say, “Just as two friends, frequently in each other’s company, tend to develop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary and by living the same life in Holy Communion, we can become, to the extent of our lowliness, similar to them and can learn from these supreme models a life of humility, hiddenness, patience and perfection.”

This is a true story. Mother was dying. Her little son was next to her bed. He could not understand what was happening. “Is it true, mum, that now you will not sing anymore?” Mum made an effort and started singing, “Ave Maria…” That’s all she could sing here on earth. She continued singing it in heaven.


(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.