Saturday, May 22, 2021

(252) A Tribute to Mothers

AMDG 

Mother Dearest by Emily Munier 

        The most beautiful and eloquent tribute to motherhood is that of Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty (1892-1975), the primate of Hungary after World War II and jailed by the Communists in 1948 until 1956 when liberated during the Hungarian Revolution.

“The Most Important Person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral -a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body. . . The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother can. Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation. .. What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?” (Venerable Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty)


        For a bio of Venerable Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty with an extensive bibliography go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3zsef_Mindszenty. The first book he wrote was 
“Motherhood”.


              Joszef Cardinal Mindzenty Free From Prison on November 1, 1956

During the month of May we honor Mary, the mother of God, the mother of the Church, and the mother of all of us. Our Lord gave us Himself in the Eucharist on Holy Thursday as spiritual food and a source of strength throughout our lives. On Good Friday, He paid the price in reparation for the sins of the world, opening the gates of Heaven for us and thus our salvation, if we only accept Him and follow Him. Furthermore, on that memorable day He gave us His mother as the mother of you and me and every person on earth: “'Woman, behold your son'. Then He said to the disciple (St. John), 'Behold your mother'” (John 26:19). Thus Mary is our mother and that makes us all brothers. During the month of May we honor Mary as the mother of all of us and also as the mother of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ.  She continues to pray for us, intercede for us, nurture our faith, and guide us.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, while pregnant with the Christ child, said to St. Juan Diego in 1531: "Am I not here, who am your Mother?  Are you not under my shadow and protection?".  She would say the same to any one of us.

At the same time, particularly on the second Sunday of May we honor the billions of women who gave birth to you and to me, friends and enemies, everybody in the world.......past, present, and future. Everyone of us pays special homage to the woman who bore us, to the mother of our children, grandmothers, godmothers, and aunts as well as nuns.......who devote their lives to serving the Church and the children of God through their work and prayer. In fact in Hispanic countries, every nun is addressed as “Madre”.

Really, every day is Mother's Day. Thank you, ladies for participating with God in creating beautiful human beings in His image. Thank you for the nurturing that you give our children even when they leave the house. Thank you for your prayers which never cease for your children even in eternity. May God bless you richly on your day and every day.

The woman is very special. It is Mom who carries us for nine months wherever she goes; she joyfully tolerates her baby's kicking; nurtures her baby in utero, sees her baby grow through the miracle of ultrasound; patiently waits for the baby's arrival with joy and some trepidation. Then she goes through the pains of labor for seemingly endless hours. Women have a remarkable tolerance for pain. My mother, who was a dentist, observed that men squirmed much more in her chair than women, even remarking: “I'd like to see a man give childbirth. He'd never be able to do it”. Then Mom forgets all about her pain and it's all a joyful welcome for a new and unique person in this world. Mom continues to nurture her baby with breast milk for months and for some babies years after birth........one of our four babies was not weaned until the age of five. Breast milk even benefits the baby's immune system (see https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/Breastfeeding-Benefits-Your-Babys-Immune-System.aspx).

Then many a mother must deal with postpartum aches and pains and depression, doctors visits, inoculations, raising the kids, forming them in the faith, discipline, schools, taking the kids to practices and games, etc.  

One can always count on Mom for being faithful to us even in our worst moments as Mary accompanied her son to the cross and was with Him during His three hours of agony as he struggled for every breath. When we suffer, Mom suffers with us. She's our main cheerleader as we grow up, and give us consolation and encouragement when we fail.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) wrote, “Beware of the female of the species” because she ferociously protects her young (see https://www.poetry.com/poem/33429/the-female-of-the-species/). Our mothers will do whatever it takes to protect us as kids and even into adulthood. Mom is ready to protect us with her life.

William Ross Wallace (1819-1881) wrote a beautiful poem as a tribute to motherhood: “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World”. It is often quoted by such persons as Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. See http://holyjoe.org/poetry/wallace.htm. After all, Mom has a tremendous influence be it positive or negative on the lives of her children......spiritually forming them and teaching them by word or example. She teaches us, she forms us and she molds us.

Mom has an uncanny knack, call it intuition with her well developed left brain, for anticipating our needs, sensing our fears and feelings. Her love for us is unfailing and faithful, fiercely loyal, and sacrificing herself, expecting nothing in return except our good. Her mission is to show us the way to Heaven under the leadership of her husband, utilizing his special God given gifts. Mom and Dad beautifully complement each other as ordained by God.



The Mihalich Family cerca 1918 in present day Slovakia, then part of Austria-Hungary.   From left to right are Ella & Disiderius (Dezső) Voloszinovich, Rev. Vladimir & Olga Mihalich.  Behind them are Irene, Martha, Stephanie, and Lilly on the extreme right.   

        Let us pay tribute to all the mothers of our extended family dating back to Olga Podhajeczky Mihalich (my grandmother 1881-1964), the five daughters she bore: Ella (1900-1982), Lilly (1902-1987) , Irene (1904-2005),  Martha (1907-1994), and Stephanie (1908-2006) she bore and extending to the expectant mothers in our family, and mothers to be someday........"que sera, sera......whatever will be will be. The future's not ours to see......que sera sera."  Want to hear the song sung by Doris Day?  Go to  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZbKHDPPrrc.   

Three mothers,  two generations on Mother's Day 2021, two with child, all together with their husbands.  From left to right: John-Paul & Elizabeth Herrera Sebastian; Jaga Gajda Sebastian & Paul; and Stephanie Sebastian Spiotta & Daniel.  Paul is the son of Stephanie Mihalich Sebastian, the youngest of the five Mihalich girls.  Behind them is an image of the Holy Family, the model  that our family aspires to emulate.

        What a privilege!......By love two become one and the product of that love is God's most magnificent creation.......a real human being made to the image and likeness of God for eternity. On top of that the mother and father participate in creating that most beautiful person. S/he grows and develops beneath the mother 's beating heart, so soothing when not stressed and a bond is created that will last forever. 

            We prayed for grandchildren and the Lord answered our prayers........a double header. John-Paul and Elizabeth Herrera Sebastian's baby is due on May 22.......guess what?  It's May 22 and no baby yet.  After a long patient wait, Daniel and Stephanie Sebastian Spiotta expect their baby on June 5. So we're here in Dallas, Texas anticipating the birth of two babies and two subsequent baptisms. Both couples live within a ten minute car ride of each other. Stephanie and Daniel know that they will have a boy and decided to name him Anselm after the saintly 11th Century doctor of the Church who wrote the classic, “Why did God Become Human?”


Two generations of mothers:  Elizabeth Herrera Sebastian, Jadwiga Gajda Sebastian, and Stephanie Sebastian Spiotta.  A mother is never more beautiful than when she is with child.

 John-Paul and Elizabeth want to be surprised at birth as to whether they have a baby boy or girl. Since the first ultra sound picture of him/her was so small, they gave the baby the nickname, “Little Nugget”, a golden nugget. Mary (Jaga), learning that Elizabeth is with child, hastened to help her and dragged me along. Stephanie has a friend who is staying with her. Since Elizabeth's mother gave birth to her children a couple of weeks early, we are in suspense as to when Little Nugget will decide to make his/her grand entrance.......today, tomorrow, or the day after.......the day and the hour nobody knows. My mother gave birth to me six weeks early and I've been late for things ever since.  The doctor, fearful of waiting too long, has scheduled Elizabeth to be induced on Monday evening May 24. Today she had to take a Covid test so that she would not have to wear a mask while giving birth.

Daniel is a doctoral student in Literature at the Catholic University of Dallas and teaches there part time. Stefcia is an elementary school teacher at the Great Hearts Classical School; John-Paul, burnt out from teaching high school Math and tons of correcting, has been working as a loan examiner and has just passed all aspects of his actuarial science license exam. His wife, Elizabeth teaches high school theater after graduating from the Catholic University of Dallas with a major in Drama, having directed some great productions. Naomi continues as a new bride and Labor & Delivery Nurse, helping her husband John Faro through his third year of medical school. Joseph works as a software developer for Epic, whose specialty is medical records.


            Let us honor four generations of Loya mothers in our extended family.  On the extreme right is Martha Foley Loya, the daughter of Irene Mihalich Foley, the third of the five Mihalich girls.  She is flanked by her daughter-in-law, Kate and granddaughter, Maria.  Her baby is Charlotte, probably a future mother.  Martuka, as we call her, just celebrated her 90th birthday.  Interesting is the birthday video of her 90 years.  Click on https://app.vidhug.com/HypHVKvNu/hugIn the background is an icon of the Theotokos (Greek for Mother of God).     

Let us conclude with two beautiful songs, the first by the great Irish singer, Dana Rosemary Scallon: “Little Baby Unborn” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vz38ulMnCiY.

The second is “Little Miracle of Mine” by Dana McKeon at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqXqviBu_0E.



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