Mother Power

Manny Pacquiao just knocked the lights out of Ricky Hatton last weekend. As Filipinos, we are all truly happy about Manny Pacquiao’s victory. Personally, I like Manny Pacquiao a lot — he has a warm, charming smile; uses his punching power and talent to the hilt; and he never fails to acknowledge the One true Source of all his gifts — the Lord.

I never knew a boxer could evangelize until Manny Pacquiao came along. Quinito Henson, well-known sports columnist of the Philippine Star, writes and quotes Pacquiao as having said: “Everything comes from God…I owe everything to God. He gives me strength. With God on your side, anything is possible. You can do things you thought you could only dream about…”

Now that is what I call giving credit to Whom credit is due. Earning USD 12 million or USD 20 million does not change the fact that Manny Pacquiao did not get to where he is through his own efforts. Sure, he is a disciplined boxer. Sure, he is naturally talented. Sure, he works hard at what he does. But why boxing? Why the rise from rags to riches in such a dramatic way? How did that come to be? Do you know the answer?

And if Manny Pacquiao is there, can Mommy Dionisia be far behind? Mommy Dionisia who never watches the fight live but instead says prayers for her son while the fight is on-going? At times, I am tempted to say that the reason Manny Pacquiao has gotten to where he is today is that he has a mother who prays for him a lot. Then again, that may not be entirely true. As I have learned through the years, prayer does not really change God’s mind about what to do. Prayer is meant to change us. Prayer is not the same as saying our prayers but prayer is listening and conversing with the Lord to find out what His will for us is. Not very easy but quite necessary for us to live a meaningful life.

Which brings me to the topic of motherhood and the fact that today is Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers reading this. While we may view mothers as exceptional human beings with a seemingly innate capability to just love, give, and serve, being a mother myself, I have realized that if it were just up to me, I would have given up a long time ago. Motherhood is just too demanding, will turn your life topsy-turvy, and will ask that you give your family even that which you thought you did not have. If we just relied on our own individual powers, we will fail miserably. Hindi kakayanin ng powers ko, as they say in the vernacular. As we go through the life of a mother though, events force us to slowly realize that we are not alone. We cannot do it alone. Resolve, determination, intelligence, commitment … these will still not be enough. A mother knows that true power to love and to care can only come from faith and God’s grace. As we raise our kids, we will not like everything we experience. We will not understand everything but we will be grateful because we know that our children are gifts. We will be responsible because we know that our children are really not ours. We will be generous and loving because Our Father is generous and He loved us first. As mothers, we recognize the real Source of our power.

So, to all mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day again. May the good Lord always use you mightily for His purpose as you raise the beautiful children that He has gifted you with.

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