Writings by Carmela P.

Formerly "Mel's Musings" but do to many authors with name of Mel - changing to "Writings by Carmela P."

Thursday, May 22, 2008


The kneeler on the altar has deep knee indentations from years upon years of use. It is the kneeler that Lectors use after reading from Scripture during the celebration of daily Holy Masses.

As I sat and glanced at those indentations, the idea of this writing came to me this morning, April 28, 2008, in Church after I had read from Acts of the Apostles.

"Mother's Knees" impressed itself upon my mind in such a way that it is the impetus for this writing.

A mother's knees often times kneel in prayer, kneel in scrubbing a floor, kneel to play with a child, kneel to mop up spills, kneel to garden, kneel to paint, kneel to find a coin under a chair, etc. There are many times a mother uses her knees in addition to kneeling.

During pregnancy, a baby is being miraculously formed within a mother's womb. At the appointed time mother goes into labor and her knees are bent to deliver her little miracle of life. The little cherub is wrapped and given to his or her mother. Mother is joy-filled forgetting her own pain as she sees her baby for the first time.

When baby is again brought to mother, she adjusts herself to a better position and she must do this using her knees. Mother's knees are a gift with which to be grateful. Knees are needed. Do we think of our knees and their usefulness before they become burdensome?

I must say, I had not given much thought all of these 67 years to knees, as I have today, simply by looking at that kneeler in Church this morning.

I wonder how many times our very own mothers knelt to either pray or to tend to a chore. Watching your own mother pray is a beautiful witness to her faith in God. A praying, kneeling mother teaches by her example. She exhibits grace and humility and the lessons she teaches can make an impression upon all who see her.

In examining the various uses of knees, particularly a mother's knees, since this is a Mother's Day Devotion, we think of the mother who kneels on the floor to play with her baby, the mother who kneels by her child's side if the child has fallen and hurt himself. We picture the mother scooping the child up and tending to his needs. We see a mother leaning over and tending to her sick child. Without knees she would be unable to lower herself to the child's bedside.

We see a mother bouncing her baby and/or her child upon her knees. We see a mother sit in her rocking chair comforting her baby, singing softly, and rocking him to sleep. The downy warm head of the baby may bobble and mother supports him placing her hand to the back of his neck and upper back.

We see a mother about her chores, kneeling to scrub the floor with a soapy brush, wiping and rinsing and drying and waxing it to a spiffy sparkle. You could eat off that floor, well, not really, but it would be clean and gleaming.

In stooping to perform many duties, sometimes it is easier to get upon one's knees while the knees are still working well. Agility is given to the young and that is wonderful and when you come to a point where we can no longer do those kinds of jobs, someone younger can get it done. Isn't that why we have children and grandchildren? No? Yes? :):)

Yours truly was a mother who got down on the floor to play with her children. We would kneel to play with Lincoln Logs, Legos, Checkers, Monopoly...maybe not kneel the whole time ~ but a good portion of it was spent shifting from sitting, stooping and kneeling. When my knees do not groan, I sometimes do the same with my grandchildren. It feels good to play like a child now and then. As a grandmom I see my grandchildren differently than I did my own when I was raising them.

Gardening is another way a mother kneels in beautifying her home's surroundings. Planting evergreens, flowers, shrubs, etc., involves much kneeling and often times her child could and would learn about nurturing by helping her. How lovely to see mothers kneeling by their children teaching them how to plant seeds. I have seen the glee in a child's face when what he planted began to immerge from the soil. There was much excitement to see a little piece of green pop up out of a flower pot or the earth.

You hear a plink and a rolling. The coin disappears. What do you do? You get down on your knees to look for it and you seek it until it is found. If we had no knees, how would we get down there to look for it, let alone find it. The mother in me has done it innumerable times when the little ones would drop whatever could roll and which was small enough to roll under the couch, chair, or bed.

Do we take our knees for granted? Do we thank God we were able to use our knees as mothers to perform all that needs and needed to be done. Do we, like me, think only of knees now....now that they are not what they used to be? I can't remember thanking God for the use of my knees. I may have thanked Him for many other things, but knees? I think not. From now on, though, I will try to be more aware of all of the gifts He grants, no matter what size and shape I may be assuming as I am consuming. I love to eat and as I think about it, moderation is the key to saving extra work on those knees. A pun was intended. :):)

The most important use of knees is kneeling in prayer of petition, thanksgiving, praise and worship. When a mother kneels she teaches her child, not only by her example but by her words. She encourages her child to kneel by his bedside to say thanks to God for the gift of the day and everything within it, to ask God to protect him through the night. She is also teaching the child humility.

The child can learn to say, "Good Morning, Dear God" upon arising, and at bedtime, "Good Night, Dear God." These are simple prayers a child can learn in greeting the Lord as his personal Lord and Savior. As in gardening, the seed is planted early on; nurture it well. Water it with the Word of the Lord from the holy Bible and the Son will shine upon your child.

Mother can kneel while her child kneels at his bedside to pray to God. When a mother thinks she may go unnoticed, her child notices quite a bit. So Moms, put your best knees forward, if not in kneeling, then in sitting in a fashion you would not mind your child copying. Our children are little "me's." Teach your child to mirror you, as you mirror Jesus.

For mothers whose children have gone before them, I pray a Holy Happy Mother's Day blessed with the knowledge your child is still loving you and most likely more so as he waits for your arrival one day at the appointed hour for that joyful reunion.

And in coming to a close, may I take this opportunity to greet all mothers, all grandmothers, all great grandmothers, all step-mothers and all adoptive mothers by wishing all of you a HAPPY and HOLY MOTHER'S DAY filled with God's Blessings a thousandfold upon you.

© Mel Patterson, 5-08