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Joyful Saint, Joyful Pope

In my presence and in the presence of others, try to be always joyful, for it is not fitting that a servant of God appear before the brothers or other men with a sad and glum face. —Saint Francis

The encounter with the living Jesus…fills the heart with joy, because it fills it with true life, a profound goodness that does not pass away or decay. —Pope Francis

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Mothers Imitate Christ

When a mother gives birth to a child, she uniquely imitates Christ in how she mirrors the paschal mystery: through the pains of labor and the resulting gift of newborn life, she enters into the sacrifice of Christ, taking up her cross and following him all the way to resurrection. Every mother who delivers a child offers her body and sheds her blood to give life, just as Christ did on the cross.

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St. Teresa of Avila on Prayer

According to St. Teresa—one of the Church’s great spiritual masters—prayer is a matter of coming into living contact with Jesus; it is not just recitation and repetition.

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Daughter of God

Mary knew Jesus better than anyone else. Like other mothers, she was the first to encounter and know her child through the intimacy of conception and gestation in her womb. She—more than his closest friends, more than his twelve chosen apostles—understood his thoughts, his expressions, his gestures, and his tendencies.

Her ability to follow him, to learn from him, to orient her life around his teachings and his truth, was augmented by her blessed maternity. It was in part this very motherhood that made Mary such an excellent “daughter” of God.

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Born of Woman

I began to reflect upon the infant Jesus, cradled in his Mother’s lap as a little baby boy—so much like the one who was now drawing nourishment and comfort from my body. Think of it—how amazing it is that Mary nourished and comforted her Savior? How remarkable that our Creator should be so humble. God chose to submit to a woman. God decided to have a mother. Our reflections on motherhood and the Church wouldn’t be complete without turning to the woman whom God chose for this incredible task.

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Fellowship of Believers

With the Eucharist, we join with our fellow Catholics, our neighbors, and our friends to be fed by the Lord. We celebrate together, not alone. In this way, Mother Church keeps our faith from being a solitary experience. If there were no Church, there would be no real community of believers. We might have our personal “spirituality,” but we would lack the support, the fellowship, and the mutual encouragement that comes from belonging to a family of faith.

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