Three members of the Mighty Is Her Call team just fell in love…with moms in Nashville! The Nashville Dominican sisters had invited Mighty Is Her Call to give a retreat to the mothers of their community. This past weekend we met on the gorgeous grounds of their Bethany Retreat House in the rolling hills of Tennessee. Our team delighted in the new friends we made, and encourage the women of Mighty Is Her Call to give a warm welcome to the newest members of our online community. You may soon be reading blog posts written by them, seeing their comments, and praying with and for them.
As we rejoiced in one another’s joys and wept over one another’s sorrows, I discovered with fresh eyes the purpose of Mighty Is Her Call. This weekend I beheld the mothers pouring themselves out for their families. I was reminded of Mary taking a pint of costly perfume, anointing Jesus’s feet, and wiping them with her hair (John 12:3). So, too, do these mothers break open their lives and anoint the Lord with all they have. Their lives are valuable. As Judas Iscariot reminded Jesus and his friends, the perfume was worth enough to help the poor (12:5). So, too, are mothers’s lives worth a great deal. They could be doing so many other things with their time – running businesses, non-profits, or trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Instead, they devote at least some of their time to carpooling and stirring yet another pot of macaroni and cheese on the stove. Their lives are balancing acts, a mix of work outside the home and work inside the home, each woman discerning what is right for her and her family. In each case, their lives are emptied and shared. Whatever else they are doing in their lives, what they all have in common, is that their hearts have been completely turned over to their children – an indescribable ache when their children suffer, and a joy beyond all other joys in the unfathomable mystery of the human persons God has created.
What I learned anew about Mighty Is Her Call this weekend is that her mission is to reinforce this vocation to love. Like Elizabeth witnessing Mary at the Visitation, it is her great honor to witness the sacred pouring out of the lives of mothers, to remind each one how important her role as mother is, and to let her know that she is not alone. It is to help her, when she has fallen under the weight of the cross, to remember that it is the cross of Jesus she is under, and to help her get back up and then walk alongside her. It is to help her see Jesus in the divine beauty of her vocation, as well as in the crosses, whether it be miscarriage, marriage challenges, teen and adult child problems, special needs, and more. It is to remind her that her vocation as mother, and as Catholic mother in particular, is designed in the shape of the cross, and as such, she is specially anointed and called to be a “little Christ.” May she always nurture her relationship with Jesus in prayer, sacrament, Scripture, and holy friendship, and may she know her identity as beloved by God, so that she may bear abundant fruit that will last for eternity.