Friday, September 25, 2009

Strong Women and Holy Mothers

How many of you know the name Drana Bojaxhiu?

She was an amazing woman. Albanian by birth. Her husband was murdered, leaving her penniless with three young children. So she started her own business-a rug-making business, and she worked hard to make it a success. She never stopped taking her kids to daily Mass and she made sure the family was always generous with what little they had. Every Sunday after Mass she and her children would take food and clothing to the poor. Drana also opened her home to give shelter and aid to women and their children who had been abused or had nowhere else to go.

Nobody remembers Drana's name. But we all know the name Mother Teresa, or as she is known today, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Drana was her mother.

Mother Teresa said her mother used to tell her: "When you do good, do it quietly, as if you were tossing a pebble into the sea." That is a beautiful image of the hidden life. Of the life lived totally in the presence of God. It reminds me of what St. John the Baptist said: "[Christ] must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

This is an important spiritual lesson for every Christian. But it seems especially important for those of you who are mothers. In the course of your day, you will do many heroic things, you will make sacrifices that no one sees. Sometimes even the people you are sacrificing for don't appreciate your efforts.

But your faith, your love, can move mountains-even if in this lifetime you will never see them move. You are sowing what others will reap, as St. Paul used to say.

Did Drana know that her daughter would grow up to be a great saint who would change the world? Of course not, how could she? But that wasn't why she was doing what she was doing. Her motive was love. Not recognition. Not "results."
Archbishop Gomez
in a speech to the Catholic Women's Conference
Hoo boy, that man knows how to write an inspiring piece. I found it to be not only uplifting but, what is equally helpful, encouraging as bits of it come back to me in the daily slog. Go read it all.

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