Parents' perspectives on a Catholic vocation journey
A Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! With a child who is discerning a religious life, you wonder, how do you act as “mother” now. Do they still need you? Are you still relevant? Do you have something to offer in their life choice? The answer is of course, yes.
As a mother, you understand that giving of yourself is how you care for your children. From this life long giving, your child has learned to be a generous giver themselves. Mother’s Day is a time when most people take a moment to give their mother a special thank you for all the giving they have done. From an early age, the child in return gives a card and gift. At first they are the handmade items from school, the handprint plaque, the freely drawn hearts, the macaroni necklaces. All these things come from the heart of the child and the imagination of the teacher. Later, it turns to candles, bath soaps, and gift cards. The child has matured enough to know they should give, but are too immature to understand their mother as a person.
The last stage is the mindful gifts. The time when the child understands that the mother is a person in her own right and knows what would mean the most to her. This is different for each family and is as diverse as families themselves. The child has truly learned how to give from the heart the way the mother modeled for them.
There is a gift I haven’t received yet but know (hope) will be coming to me. At the time of ordination, the hands of the priest are anointed with sacred Chrism Oil. Traditionally the ordinand’s hands were then wrapped in a cloth called the maniturgium. This tradition has been discontinued and now the newly ordained priest just wipes clean with a purificator cloth. The second part of this tradition was to present the cloth to the mother of the newly ordained. This part of the tradition is being revived with the purificator. The cloth is being set aside for the son to present to his mother.
That is the first gift.
The second comes when the mother dies. She is to be buried with this cloth in her hands. Upon greeting the Lord in heaven, He will say “I have given you life, what have you given to me?” The mother then presents the cloth and replies “I have given You my son.”
I was given the gift of a son, I am pleased to return this gift to God. I cannot wait to receive the maniturgium from my son’s ordination. This is the final gift.
— Kit (Mom of Evan)