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20. Mama Is Always Lovely

by Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty

Descriptive Title

Mama Is Always Lovely


Chapter Twenty, the final chapter of Cardinal Mindszenty's book, The Mother.

Larger Work

The Mother



Publisher & Date

Radio Replies Press, 1949

A remarkably beautiful poem by Siebel develops a thought, which brings into clear relief the attitude of an unspoiled child. After all, the loveliest being in the world is mother. Anyone more amiable, more kind than mother, why there is no such person! No one can cook better, no one can sing better, no one can work like mother. Everything else may change, but mother remains ever the same, in fact, she grows lovelier every day.

Through the window draped in green,
Sunshine bright is clearly seen.
Grandma sits-'tis her way-
Knitting, nodding all the day.
"Grandma's head, see how it bobs!"
Cries the child as Grandma nods.
"You aren't pretty, Grandma, there
See how thin and white your hair!
On your brow why do you keep
Lines so long and dark and deep?
"Mama, oh, why she is fair!
No one can with her compare'."
Grandma looks and soft replies:
"Beauty, quickly, quickly flies!
Hoary age has altered me,
Mama, too, will older be."
But, the child, affrighted, cries:
"Mama's beauty never dies!
She will ever lovely be
That I know most certainly!"

When the face, the words of mother seem to change, youth takes notice and is disturbed. Yet it may not be mother who has changed, but the son, the daughter. They have partaken of the fruit from the forbidden tree and hence feel the reproach of their own conscience in their mother's face.

The stories about the Christmas tree being brought by the Holy Child, about the stork bringing the babies, about mother being the loveliest creature on earth, should be retained as long as possible. These are all a source of joy and happiness for little children. But when the time comes that these stories are outgrown, then those children are blessed indeed who, in spite of grey hair and furrowed brow, still see mother as the loveliest of women, because they see a light streaming from her eyes which it is given only to children to see. This light is a reflection of eternal beauty and youth.

We learn to appreciate even the greatest treasure only when we no longer possess it. Mother has performed her duty as silently and naturally as the sun which rises daily to give light and warmth. How frightened men would be if the sun were to rise no more! The death of a mother is an irreparable loss. It is not surprising, then, if the thoughts and longings of children travel out to the silent mound, there to seek counsel and consolation. For mother does not die, even when she is dead.

I have just come back from mother's grave
Where oft my way I trace;
The heart's most sacred, last recourse
Lies buried in that place.


Is there anyone who can look forward to the Last Judgment with more confidence than a mother? The crown of eternal glory is awaiting her. St. Paul, speaking of woman, says: "She shall be saved through childbearing." 1 Tim. 11, 15. Motherhood is not limited only to giving life of the body to the child; the mother also gives her child the life of the soul, by leading it to God and to Christ. She again becomes its mother by unfolding before her child's mind the wonders of existence.

In the blessedness promised by St. Paul, we seem to hear the blessedness promised by Our Lord in his sermon on the mount when He said: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy." The hands of a mother have brought music as from the registers of an organ, by all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. She fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the poor, housed the stranger, visited and tended the sick. She admonished the sinner, counselled the doubtful, instructed the ignorant, consoled the sorrowful, was patient with the foolish and was incessant in prayer for the living and the dead.

The mother is God's co-worker, the first and best apostle of the Church. She is a ray of light from the Mother of Mercy.

"Mama's beauty never dies" . . . and life on earth will be beautiful as long as there beats a mother's heart.


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