Mantle: a cloak-like garment worn mainly by women as fashionable outerwear.
Recently, in the confessional, the priest got me thinking by something he said. While I admit that we're suppose to be inspired in the confessional, sometimes it's a little less thought provoking. Don't you agree?
In this instance, the priest caught me off-guard with his follow-up question, "Isn't the mantle of motherhood a wonderful gift?". Of course, I answered with a "yes", even as shocked as I was to hear that terminology. I guess I had never thought of it that way. He then followed with reminders of the importance of mothers and our roles as educators and role models. He shared that when he used to teach at a vocational school that it was one of his favorite times as a teacher because he had the chance to teach students hands on. He taught by example, by showing them and less by standing at the front of the classroom. He considered this a treasured gift.
I've been thinking about this daily. How well do I wear my mantle of motherhood? Will I let the frustrations and struggles of my day wrinkle my mantle?
It's not easy every day to serve my family perfectly and embrace my vocation as a mom. Don't get me wrong, I love this job. I wouldn't trade it for anything. But admittedly, it's tiring, many times thankless and often overwhelming if I let it be. Sometimes in the hub bub of the day, I fail in some areas of example and teaching. Good intentions can easily fall to the wayside when the day begins weary and tired. How precious is this gift that I've been given to teach and lead my children! And yet, how easily my human weakness can get in the way of fostering and accepting the responsibility that comes with wearing my motherly mantle.
I'm glad that this priest was divinely inspired in that moment to share with me his words. While it's given me a lot to think about as far as areas that I could do better, it's also reminded me of ways that I do wear my mantle well. Just as fabrics come in all different colors and patterns, so too each of us women and mother's come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, temperaments and personalities. Yes, this mantle is fashionable and I may wear it very differently than many of you. But then, I also wear it well because I am the only mother that Lily, Jonah and Gianna have been given.
It may not always appear that I've got this mantle fixed perfectly on my head, it may be a bit tattered and worn, lacking beauty and a bit imperfect, but it is an honor to wear the one that was made just for me.
After all, with such wonderful role models of motherhood I find in both my Mom here on earth and the Blessed Mother Mary, I can't help but proudly follow their lead and wear this mantle well.
Happy Mother's Day weekend everyone!