Imitate Our Lady's loving service with these acts of kindness for moms and babies in your area.
One of the loveliest moments in the Gospels takes place when Our Lady goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth when both women are pregnant. Elizabeth’s baby leaps in the womb for joy (Luke 1:44) and Mary voices her beautiful canticle of praise to God, the Magnificat.
It’s a scene rich with meaning and symbolism. And it leaves us with some insight into what what mattered to Mary, and how we can honor her in our own time.
Mary’s thoughtful act in going to help her cousin showed a compassionate concern for pregnant mothers. And we can imagine that her care for mothers and babies only grew after her own experience trying to find a suitable place to give birth to her Son.
In imitation of Mary’s spirit, this Advent and Christmas season, let’s find a way to help the mothers and babies who need it in our own lives. This might be as simple as bringing a meal to new parents in your neighborhood or telling a mom with a toddler how much you love seeing her little one at church. These acts of kindness make a big impact!
A baby shower!
Or you might take things a step farther and rally your community to do good in Mary’s honor. One great example of how to do this comes from Catholic artist Erica Tighe Campbell, who encourages throwing a “baby shower for Mary” as a creative way to help mothers in need. It’s a great cause and a perfect reason to get together with friends!
Campbell explains her reasoning behind this sweet party idea:
“Baby things are expensive. The one-time costs of strollers and breast pumps and cribs and the ongoing costs of diapers and wipers and formula. So what if women gathered all over the world (one can hope, right?!) and threw a baby shower for Mary — all the gifts being donated to women in our communities who are in need. Gifts for baby Jesus would indeed be gifts for His loved ones.”
Best of all, Campbell makes the planning a breeze, thanks to a free party guide on her website. The free guide includes:
- invitation you can edit
- food ideas
- activity idea
- timeline for the day
- reflection by Pope Francis to read together
- a guided meditation
Need ideas of what gifts to bring to a baby shower for Mary? Most crisis pregnancy centers are always looking for donations! Possible gifts could include any new-in-packaging products of the following:
- Crib sets (crib, mattress, mattress pad, sheet)
- Car seats and strollers
- Baby clothes (sizes 0 to 12 months)
- Receiving blankets
- Diapers (sizes 1 to 5)
- Baby wipes
- Diaper bags
- Baby toiletries
- Baby toys and books
- Purse-size hand sanitizer, tissue, lotion and lip balm for moms
Or you may simply collect donations for your local pregnancy resource center.
During the time of year when Christians are so closely united to Mary’s pregnancy and birth, this is a genuinely meaningful way to honor her, especially in her acts of loving service.