Motherhood: A Design of God Written into Human Nature
By Bishop David J. Malloy
This Sunday, May 8, is Mother’s Day. Just on a human level this day is important to many. And rightly so.
On Mother’s Day, many will make a special effort to thank that one singular person who has played such a significant role in the life of each of us. Visits will be made. Calls will be placed. Flowers will be sent. Dinners will be arranged. All of this to be in contact with the one who gave us birth, or who, perhaps through adoption, had an irreplaceable contribution to our growing up, and in coming to understand ourselves and the world.
Of course this is all very good. Gratitude is a part of the right order of any human society, including the family. So a day like Mother’s Day, where gratitude is organized and expressed widely, awakens the best in human relationships and even creates a regular annual moment for renewing ties, or seeking forgiveness should that be necessary.
Still, we miss a fundamental part of the importance and indispensability of motherhood if we do not grasp the link of this great gift to God and to His plan of creation. And this we perceive through our faith.
The Book of Genesis gives us the basis of human relations, and that basis is founded in the role of the woman, Eve. We are told that God made all of creation including the man, Adam. But in spite of being surrounded by the beauty of the Garden and all of the animals, the man is lonely and unfulfilled until God creates Eve. 
The complementarity of Adam and Eve, of man and woman, is described by the author of Genesis, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” (Gen 2:24). Even from the beginning, the plan of God is for an exclusive and mutually supportive relationship between a man and a woman as the basis of society. That is marriage.
Out of this relationship begins the beauty of motherhood. For nine months, a woman is entrusted with the sacrifice and with the great beauty of carrying within her the gift of a new human life. That life is created by God to live eternally. But its first period of growth and development is in complete dependence upon his or her mother.
Experience has shown us that there is a special bond between child and mother. It is at times astonishing to witness the attachment mothers have for their children. Their willingness to sacrifice for their children, especially when they are young, the manner in which mothers speak of the pain of separation from their children even for a short time, and the way in which a mother imparts values and faith to her children, all of these are signs of the design of God written into human nature.
In so many families, the mother is the engine of faith for others. She is often the one who has taught us our first prayers and whose example leads us to recognize the importance of attending Mass and practice devotions.
Scripture uses a mother’s love to describe the love of God for us. The Book of the Prophet Isaiah famously says, “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.”
Mothers, we cannot say it often enough. Thank you. Thank you for what you have done for us. Thank you for fulfilling God’s loving plan, especially by sharing with us the gift of human life.
A very Happy Mother’s Day!