A mother’s heart

by | Jun 7, 2024 | Presence

[Mary’s request to Jesus about your child:] Spare me the pain of seeing wither and fade this tender flower that has been watered by your Blood. Preserve it and give it to me forever. (Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey, A Mother’s Holy Hour)



It is said that a mother is only as happy as her least-happy child.

In this complicated society, many types of harm can be done to us, and those wounds chip away at our once-strong heart. But it is the loss of a child that cuts deep, whether one has lost their child by death or a non-death loss such as disappearance, incarceration, or a serious illness that impacts your ability to engage in normal life activities.  Child loss is a sword that pierces like no other.

But what is in vogue is ambiguous loss, the child choosing to ‘cancel’ their parents and instead make ideologies their gods and strangers their family. As your mother, Mary is with all cancelled parents, experiencing it with them. As their Mother, she has been cancelled too. Your child lost to the world is also her lost child.

With any loss of a child, whether by death, non-death, or the cancel culture, when that sword pierced your heart, it also pierced Mary’s. For us, the cells of our child actually mixed with and are retained in our own when we carried our baby in our womb. For Mary, she gave her own flesh to become the flesh of His Sacred Heart and her blood to become His Precious Blood. And Jesus, the God-man, gave her the grace to do so. This is why we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary immediately following the Feast of Jesus’ Sacred Heart: because of the inseparability of their two hearts. In giving Jesus up to our Father, Mary had to tear Him away from her own heart.

Just as nothing can separate her heart from His, neither can her heart be separated from your child.

Just as Mary didn’t let her overwhelming grief stifle giving of herself in love to others, so too mothers must allow Jesus and Mary to carry them forward in loving their families. The prayer from a mother’s heart is like no other, whether it’s taken directly to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament or to Him in a ‘holy hour’ sitting at the child’s bedside. Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey provided the gift of A Mother’s Holy Hour in 1953. A few of his insights to reflect upon in your own prayer include: 

  • Jesus loves our child more than we are capable of. He has joy over our joy and sorrows with us in sorrow. Mary tells us that Jesus’ Divine Eyes would be a fountain of tears, and each tear revealed to her an incurable wound of love. 
  • It is within the pure chalice of the heart that Jesus resides, and His first kingdom is in the heart and soul of the child. His Heart is ever open to children and their mothers. Your child will never be orphaned. And when Mary holds your child, she holds Jesus in your child’s heart. 
  • What will be my child’s future? Will he or she become the crown of thorns for Jesus and for me? Will this little one someday forget his God? We are not our child’s salvation; we are to bring him to Salvation. Mary consecrated herself to God; do likewise. And remain in peace for your prayer has moved the Heart of Jesus. 
  • Make your first object of prayer that your child become a fervent friend of Jesus in the Eucharist. Desire that your child be a living expression of your grateful love for Jesus. Pray that your child will have the opportunity to repay Jesus for His love. Your child’s guardian angel will take your prayer for them to God. 
  • All of Heaven is interested in your child. They are waiting for her. And one day when you stand on the threshold of eternity, you shall await from Mary’s hands the soul of your child. 

Daughter of God the Father, elevated above all creatures, govern Thy children.

Mother of God the Son, and our Mother, protect Thy children.

Spouse of the Holy Ghost, obtain the sanctification of Thy children.

0 Mary, full of grace, look down upon and bless thy children.

Let us Pray.

0 Jesus, who from the cross didst give Mary to be the Mother of mankind, and hast placed us among her privileged children, grant that, profiting by the graces thou hast so abundantly shed upon us, we may realize the consoling words: “It is impossible that a true servant of Mary should perish”. We ask it, 0 Jesus, by the tenderness of thy divine Heart, and the merits of thy Holy Passion. Amen.

(From Gate of Heaven or, Way of The Child of Mary, 1879)



(Image by Andreas Praefcke, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

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