By Alyssa Bormes


“Moms and Boys at the Fountain” by Sharon Mollerus, 2007, via All rights reserved.

Wow! The first reading this morning was a doozy! One mom with seven sons who are all asked to renounce God—but none of them do. The mother, who was “filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage,” encourages them to die nobly.

After the executioners kill her first six sons, the youngest one is to be put to death. The king tries to convince the mother to persuade her son to speak against God. Instead she leans in, telling her, now, only son, “Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with your brothers.” The son accepted death rather than turn from God. And then—the executioners kill the mother.

Wow! That is some mom!

A womanly heart with manly courage—this is the heart of motherhood!

We are in a world that takes a womanly heart with manly courage. The womanly heart is one that is Created to Relate, (Thank you, Kelly Wahlquist!). So let’s do it. Let’s build noble relationships—and even if another is not noble, let’s continue to be noble. In this, we don’t renounce God, we proclaim Him!

With our womanly relationship building, we can add manly courage. In this passage, the courage seems to have to do with being a martyr—as in a witness. It is that day in, day out witness to Christ, in good times and bad. We need to be courageous, and call those around us to this strength as well—especially our children.

The womanly heart with manly courage culminates in a calling. Christ calls all of us; if we choose Him, there will be a time of mercy when He will receive us.

Oh—to be received into paradise—and to have been spiritually a mother to others who are received as well—there is nothing more that this womanly heart desires!