The family is a society limited in numbers, but nevertheless a true society, anterior to every state or nation, with rights and duties of its own wholly independent of the commonwealth.
– Leo XIII (Gioacchino V. Pecci), Science and Spirituality, p. 138
Mothers have a day of acknowledgement each year on the second day of May, followed the next month by Fathers Day on the third Sunday. In most places children are not given the same acknowledgement, nor is the family. If there is to be one special time per year, it would need to be the family, since it is the family which holds all these humans together. The mother is the one who is most associated with the family. It is she who generally labors the most hours per day, week after week, and month after month, to perform the duties of the family and seek to keep the relations in the family harmonious.
In our diverse society, in which there are also two women or two men at the head of the family, it is important to recognize that the standard rules for past families do not always hold at the present time. In Royce Hall at UCLA earlier this month the Southern Poverty Law Center told about their accomplishments as a body of attorneys and their associates. The one couple that was introduced and had a chance to speak was two married women who had had a very difficult life until they were helped by the Law Center to overcome their opponents and given time to build a meaningful life of their own.
The family is generally the most intense relationship in our society. It is there, among other reasons, to shelter the younger generation and give it a chance to grow and be supported. It is that protective relationship that allows children to develop their talents and abilities, and then to be launched out into the world with confidence and the qualities needed to become mature adults. The love and concern of the parents serves a most important role in being the cocoon within which children can develop.
Mother’s Day is the time to acknowledge and support the love and caring role which mothers are intended to fulfill with respect to the upcoming generation, while the traditional role of the man is to be the breadwinner. Clearly this role is often reversed or changed in a major way from what is the traditional one, but the vast majority of families are developed in this manner. My concern is that the family is acknowledged for its great importance in modern society, and that marriage is given recognition and a true place in keeping the family together so it can fulfill its proper function.
May this Mother’s Day be a time for increasingly valuing the family and the woman’s role in that institution.
Spirit is One; paths are many!!!