A Blessed Sixth Sunday of Easter to all our readers, which also happens to be the secular commemoration of Mothers’ Day, which became widespread when President Woodrow Wilson – for whom I have not much admiration otherwise, and his imprudent and unjust ‘Fourteen Points’ at Versailles in 1919 paved the way for an even worse war two decades later – proclaim this day in 1914 as the first Mother’s Day, with the second Sunday in May dedicated to mothers across the land. My own Dad has some misgivings, telling us as children that ‘every day should be mother’s day’, with which sentiment I agree, but like all universal truths, a special day does carry some significance, even if it has been Hallmarked nearly to a vague sentimentality.
And, of course, as Catholics, especially fitting in this whole month dedicated to our own spiritual mother, Mary, Theotokos and mediatrix of graces, through whom God saw fit to bring about, in part, His work of redemption, as He does with us all, if we but cooperate in His salvific will.
I say ‘paradoxical’ at the beginning of this reflection, since it was also on this day in 1960 that the Food and Drug Administration in the United States approved what is now known as ‘the Pill’, ushering in full-bore the ‘sexual revolution’. Developed by Gregory Pincus and John Rock, the latter a daily-Mass going gynecologist at Harvard, the Pill – primarily a synthetic form of progesterone (progestin) that tricked a woman’s body into thinking itself always pregnant – promised women a release from the burdens of motherhood, and both men and women free-for-all sex, anytime, anywhere, actually touted in these terms. Of course, as things turned out, the sex became more free for all the men, with the women carrying almost all the burden.