This December 8th was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is on this day that we celebrate Mary being born without the taint of original sin. What is original sin? It is humanity's refusal to be loved by God and to do His will. To curtail God's power is humanity's greatest vanity.
Mary was without original sin, but so were Adam and Eve. Mary could have said no. She did not. She chose God's love. (To refer to Mary as the New Eve is theologically correct. If you have the time and want your head to spin click on the following link: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm )
Being mothers we are forced to choose between what is right and what is easy. And society is not easy on us. We are continually bombarded by conflicting messages: Do we work or do we stay at home? Do we use formula? Pump? Breast feed? In public? Do we vaccinate our children? And what would happen if we told our parents that an angel of the LORD appeared before us? Our society can accept mystical events (near death experiences, etc.). What our society has more difficulty with is God working in everyday life. Miracles don't happen or if they do they are huge events that science can explain away. It's all just a point of view after all. But what will happen if you live your life according to God's will? You'll be laughed at for your faith. (This is what happened to me when I refused to sleep around and do drugs in college.) It wasn't religion that kept me from these things. It was common sense and the belief that God wanted something better for me.
Mary's chose to follow God's call. I'm sure that Mary's parents wanted a very different life for their daughter. We can be certain that Mary wanted a different life for Jesus. Following God's call isn't easy. God can speak in large flashes of light but most likely He awaits us in the quiet of a hectic day. Mary existed in this calm. We must seek it. We must continually seek it for ourselves so we can pass it on to our children. The greatest gifts we can give our children are faith in God's love and the tools to live life according to God's call for them. How do we know? God tells us we will know the tree by its fruit. We know from our own mistakes. We know from our conscience and our instincts. (God gave us moms instincts for a reason. Trust them!) If all else fails we can turn to the Church. She's pretty old so she's picked up some wisdom along the way. Turn to other moms for prayers and support.
For what it's worth here's my personal prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your many blessings. Thank you especially for those special souls you have entrusted to my care. Help me remember that they are Your children before they are mine. Help me remember that I am also your beloved child. Please keep my babies safe from harm and make up for my inadequacies. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Turn to God in your need. We're his children, too.