Basing ourselves upon the reflections concerning the Most Holy Virgin Mary and about the dispositions of her Immaculate Heart, we can trace the outline and draw the portrait of the Catholic Wife and Mother. The text below is the conclusion of a beautiful conference given by Bishop Alfonso de Galareta during the Angelus Press Conference on Family.
It can be summarized in the love, in the vocation to love, that gives and gives itself, generously, totally. It shall be a family life devoted to husband and children, to be the heart of the home and the family's bond of unity.
And what shall be the characteristic traits of this charity?
Towards the husband, it shall take the form of a love that is faithful, serviceable, chaste and modest, respectful and obedient.
To the children, it shall be, before and above all, spiritual and supernatural. And I would like to insist on this, which is also a grave obligation for the father. St. Augustine says boldly that, "Indeed, one has the intention to engender in order to regenerate, that is to say, that those who are born children of this world, be reborn as children of God." And he adds elsewhere, "This intention in the union of Christians is not ordained for the purpose of giving life to children so that they go no farther than this world, but that they be regenerated in Christ, so that they may never part from Him." And in another complementary text, "In providing for the children, it is needed to receive them with love and to educate them religiously."
It is particularly the honor and privilege of the mother to transmit faith and religion, to form Jesus in the hearts of her children, educate them in piety, in the fear and the love of God. Her main mission shall be to elevate them to the supernatural order in such a way that they remain in it, with a solid spiritual foundation. It is not a matter merely of having children, but to bring forth children for the Church and for heaven.
And given the weak and vulnerable condition of children, in both body and soul, her love towards them shall need to be at once merciful, solicitous, strong and self-sacrificing.
Her love for all members of the family should be sweet, kind, tender, discrete, and cheerful. It is mainly the mother who makes the house a home and the family a refuge of peace.
Finally that charity shall be extended in sacrifice, until it comes to the moment of separation and the giving of the children to God or to matrimony; and, perhaps, in some case, until shedding abundant tears for the conversion of a child, like St. Monica, "The son of so many tears offered to God cannot be lost."
The vocation of the Christian wife and mother is a vocation to charity that is both sublime and demanding. It is a vocation to be in the family and in the world a mirror of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of God and our Mother.
I shall finish with the words of St. Bernard1:
There was in this noble star, whose rays illumine the whole world, whose brightness shines in the heavens and reaches down to the lower depths. She illumines the world and gives warmth to souls, she enkindles virtues and consumes vices. She shines by her merits and illumines by her examples. O you who see yourself dragged by the current of this world, in the middle of torments and of temptations, do not take your eyes off the light of this star if you do not wish to succumb to storms]... Let not her name part from your lips, let it not leave your heart, and to obtain the help of her prayers do not forget the examples of her life. Following Mary you do not get lost, if you beseech her you do not despair, if you think of her you do not make mistakes. If she takes you by the hand you do not fall; if she protects you, you shall not be afraid; if She guides you, you will not get tired; if she is propitious to you, you will reach the goal safely, and thus experience for yourself what has been justly said: 'And the name of the Virgin was Mary'.
- 1. Homily II "Missus est" #17