Reflection on Mater

By Sister Nora Smyth RSCJ

Mothers are important in all our lives. This afternoon we thank you Lord for the gift of our mothers, and ask that we appreciate and honour them as your gift to us.

Above all we praise and give thanks for the special gift of your own Mother to us, under the special title of Mater Admirabilis, Mother most Admirable, or Mater for short as she is known as in all Sacred Heart Schools and Colleges all over the world.

It was St. Madeleine Sophie’s wish that the image of Our Lady under this title would be exhibited in every Sacred Heart School, so no matter where we go on our travels and see the image in a school or college, we know we are at home.

Looking at the image our attention is drawn to several features connected with the fresco: Mary has laid aside her work; her eyes are downcast; she would appear to be praying, reflecting. She has taken time to withdraw inwardly. Was it to reflect on something she had read in the book near her work basket – to ponder on God’s word which she had just read?

There’s a lesson for all of us in this, is there not?  We too need to take time to lay aside our work; to be still; to savour a moment of deep silence so that we can journey inwards and commune with Jesus in our hearts. We all have things in our lives that may cause us anxiety, heartache, worry. This image of Mater calls on us to lay aside our burdens and cast them at the feet of her Son.

Mater is the Virgin of the invisible, the essential in our lives. She is there for us at every moment: in sickness and in health; in joy and in sorrow; in moments of frailty and moments of courage; moments of depression and moments of hope.

Today we ask her to be with us as we journey on our pilgrim way. O Mary we love you, trusting all to thee, the past the present and what is yet to be.

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