A Mother’s Gaze

mother gazes at baby

One of the advantages of being a grandparent in the digital age is receiving a constant stream of pictures of our granddaughter Olivia (born 3/11/18) from our daughter-in-law Sarah. It seems that Sarah is capable of catching every mood on Olivia’s face, whether she is sleeping like an angel, screaming like a banshee, or everything in between. What impresses me most is that, in order to do this, Sarah needs to have her gaze constantly fixed on Olivia so as not to miss any expression on her face. But this is what mothers do—they fix their gaze on their children. No one knows the face of a child like his or her mother. And, as we grow older, we long for the face of our mother to gaze upon us as we accomplish new tasks: “Mommy! Look at me!” What a blessing it is to have your mother’s gaze fall on you!

Ronald Rolheiser reminds us that the word blessing comes from the Latin benedicere, which means to speak well of. He says:

To bless someone is, first of all, to see them, to genuinely see them, to look at them so that they sense that they are truly being recognized and given adequate reality to. Then, and this need not always be put into words but can be present right in that seeing, to bless someone is to take delight in them, to give them the gaze of admiration, to look at them in a way that says: “You are my beloved child, in you I take delight!”

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let’s be thankful for the gaze of our mothers, a gaze which mirrors the gaze of God, who looks upon us with delight!

Happy Mother’s Day!


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About Joe Paprocki 2256 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

2 Comments on A Mother’s Gaze

  1. Olivia is a blessing. As a great grandma of 5, including John’s, I am so blessed too… and thanks to the digital age. Above all, when I view my “babies”, I give thanks to God that they are saved from the horrible fate of abortion. Let’s pray for more parents like them.

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