Happy Mother’s Day! The day when we take moms of all stripes out for brunch, bring them flowers, spend time together… Well, that probably won’t be happening this year. And maybe that’s a good thing. As with other aspects of our lives under COVID, it might be time for a rethink.

Many North Americans began celebrating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, more than a hundred years ago. Over the decades, it has become fairly commercialized, with florists, jewellers, spas and other businesses competing to rack up sales. Even a greeting card can cost up to $10 these days!

This time of isolation has reminded us how much we miss seeing and hugging the people we love. Presents are nice, but presence is even better.

Luckily, we can celebrate Mother’s Day anytime, since every day is a good day to remember those who nurture young and old, believe in them, challenge them to do better, and stand by them when they make mistakes. This year is a good opportunity for us to reflect on how we honour all who mother – not only on their official day, but all year long.

Praying for them, thanking them, checking in, popping a card in the mail, sending an email or text, offering emotional or practical support, being present (even by phone or on a video call), listening to their worries, sharing our own… these are all great ways to stay connected. We can keep mothers and mother figures close to our hearts day to day, whether they are still with us or have gone before us. Even if they aren’t perfect. Even if we don’t always see things the same way. Even if the relationship is a complicated one.

For Catholics, it’s natural to mention Mary, the Mother of God, when we talk about motherhood, especially during the month of May. In my family, Mary was always near. My mom prayed the rosary daily – I often got the feeling that for her, this was like time spent with a dear friend. I’m pretty sure that most of the time she was praying for her three daughters… (thanks, mom!). Holding the rosary my dad had given her the night before their wedding, mom would sit quietly in her own little oasis of peace and prayer as life continued around her. That connection with Mary has been a source of strength all her life, and she has passed it on to others. When in doubt, pray to Mary! I can’t be with my mom in person today, but I’ll definitely be with her heart to heart.

Mary, Mother of all the living, be with all mothers – today and always!

Anne Louise Mahoney, Managing Editor

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