A Mother’s Beauty

I suppose that every child views his/her mother as the most beautiful being on this side of eternity.  I was no different.  Hers was the beauty of a maternal god-figure.  Of course, with the passage of time exterior beauty fades.  As my mom gave birth to eleven children and raised us to adulthood while managing a household, a farm or taking on jobs outside the home, and hundreds of other daily tasks, it all took a toll on her.  She put on weight; her hair grayed; she lost teeth; she wrinkled and grew old.  But somehow (from 1930-2020: through the Great Depression, Second World War, many broken dreams, and bearing the challenges of every child and grandchild), she never lost her interior beauty that radiated her exterior being.

My mother died late last night.  She died much as she lived: trusting in God to be with her through every hardship, grateful for each act of kindness shown to her, and being simultaneously welcoming and vulnerable to whatever and whomever was in her presence.  It was a crowded house in which she laid and we, her descendants, gathered around: crying, praying, singing, reading the words of Jesus, listening to the words of one another, and holding on to her as she transitioned from our embrace to God’s.  When she had taken her final breath, there was an incredible sense of victory—no more suffering, no more pain.  There was also a hollow emptiness—no more mom.  There was, in addition, a great gift of beauty that she left behind.  I pray that we can hold onto it.  Like Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit that He left for those He loved, my mom left us a most precious and powerful consolation.

There is a story that Jesus told about a servant who labors diligently all day long, every day.  At the end of his arduous toil in the field, he comes in to wait on his master—only later does he take his rest.  Jesus praises this faithful steward, moralizing that the end of a good, hard life should resemble the end of that good, hard day; and we should, at that time, simply say, as this servant did: “I have only done what I am here to do.  I will take my rest when it is completed.”  It is like Blessed Mother Mary who, early in life, assented to doing God’s will.  A sword of sorrow pierced her heart and she suffered tremendously.  At her dormition, she breathed her final breath only after she had completed all that she was here to do.  Then she took her rest and was assumed into heaven—the perfect model of a good and faithful servant who left behind a treasure of grace.

My mother’s constant message to her children was, and is, to do what you’re here to do and trust The Lord to be by your side to the end, just as Mary and the servant in Jesus’ story did.  In my mom’s little house last night, as her soul took flight and the Good Shepherd opened the gate to her, there was grief, joy, relief, sadness, gratitude, and a boat-load of tears—but mostly gratitude for the gift of love she gave to us and the beauty she leaves behind.  I can only imagine her beauty on the other side of life.

40 thoughts on “A Mother’s Beauty

  1. It is heartbreaking to lose your mother, regardless of what age you are.   My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.  May you find peace and joy in your many loving memories of her.

    Like

  2. SOO SORRY to read about your amazing mother’s passing! Your post is truly inspirational and one of the many that would make your beautiful mom very proud. Father Don, you are a gift to so many and we all are praying for you and your entire family at this very challenging time. Peace and love, Leslie/Jim Whitaker and family

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  3. Deepest sympathy on the loss of your beautiful mother,Father .You and your family are in my prayers.Margaret Ragona

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  4. What a beautiful woman, Mother and friend.

    On Sat, May 30, 2020, 6:18 PM CHARGED WITH SAINT CHARLES wrote:

    > Father Don Farnan posted: “I suppose that every child views his/her mother > as the most beautiful being on this side of eternity. I was no different. > Hers was the beauty of a maternal god-figure. Of course, with the passage > of time exterior beauty fades. As my mom gave birth to ” >

    Like

  5. Awwwwe Fr. Farnan, my deepest condolences on the loss of Your earthly companion, Your Momma. It is by grace that we entrust their beautiful souls into the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Now she is in Glory with God the Father,God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and ALLLL of the Angels and Archangels, saints and all of the company of heaven! What a glorious gift.

    Like

  6. Know your sister Veronica in Arizona. Am so sorry for your family’s loss. May you find peace that she is with God and had all her children surrounding her as she passed into her eternal life. No more pain and suffering.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  7. Fr. Don: Obviously, the Apple did not fall far from the tree. You have continued and expanded your mother’s God centeredness and deep underlying faith in the love and mercy of our Heavenly Father. Well done my good and faithful servant – come into the joy of your Lord. God bless and comfort you and your family as you farewell probably the most important person in your life. John Purcell

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  8. I’m so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. You and your precious family will be in my prayers. Lillian Kenney.

    On Sat, May 30, 2020 at 6:18 PM CHARGED WITH SAINT CHARLES wrote:

    > Father Don Farnan posted: “I suppose that every child views his/her mother > as the most beautiful being on this side of eternity. I was no different. > Hers was the beauty of a maternal god-figure. Of course, with the passage > of time exterior beauty fades. As my mom gave birth to ” >

    Like

  9. Fr. Don

    I extend my sympathy and warm wishes to you on the loss of your mother. Based upon my experience, while the immediate sense of loss will never fully go away… in time, the wonderful memories you shared with her over the years will hopefully give you peace till you meet again in heaven. Your message below was beautiful and I am so glad you were able to be with her at the end…I am sure you were a great comfort to her. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    Best wishes

    Steve Roling

    Like

  10. Dan and I send our deepest sympathy with the passing of your mother. Our prayers for you, your families and all you hold dear. It is a tough day when we say goodbye to our mother…a day neither of us looks forward to and a day we always look back on. May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

    Dan and Kathleen (Havey) Kellerman

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  11. Holding you & your family in our heart & prayers🙏Tom Baker & Dorothy Blottman

    Dorothy

    Like

  12. My dear friend, I just read this and it breaks my heart. I remember how you gave my mother so much joy and walked with me after her passing. It is so very hard to say goodbye. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. ❤️

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  13. Thanks for your update. Please be assured our prayers for her and your family will continue.😔😇. God Bless now and every time you think of her and miss her. Love and Prayers, Marge Ehr

    Sent from my iPhone

    > On May 30, 2020, at 6:19 PM, CHARGED WITH SAINT CHARLES wro: > > >

    Like

  14. Hello Father Farnan,
    On behalf of all the O’Sullivans, please accept our sympathy on your mom’s passing. What an amazing woman. You were blessed. And she was blessed and honored to call you son. I am sure you are a great source of comfort for your family as you have been for so many other families, including ours many times. But it is you who needs comfort now. Sending prayers and blessings of peace to you and your family.

    Co O’Sullivan Bauman

    Like

  15. Our prayers are with you and your family. A beautiful tribute. May she Rest in A well deserved Eternal Peace🙏

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  16. Wow, Father, what a beautiful tribute to your earthly mother… she must have been quite a force to deal with while growing up! Not only was she strong, but her faith incredible. Please know, I’m sorry for your loss. There is just something special about the loss of our moms. Our human side grieves; our spiritual side rejoices – all the while we wait for the two sides to reconcile over time to experience peace knowing our loved one is Home. The joy knowing they have come face to face with our beautiful Blessed Mother is a gift to our souls. May you and your family feel God’s comfort and grace at this time through Mary, our Mother, as she greets your faith-filled mom and welcomes her Home. I’m sure it was how she desired to live and spend eternity 🙏🏻💕 God bless, Peggy Baker Truss

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  17. Dear Fr. Don,

    I am so sorry to hear about your mother’s passing, and I pray that you feel God’s consoling embrace as you grieve. I know what a special bond a priest has with his mother, as she is so often instrumental in encouraging their vocation to the priesthood and providing support and encouragement throughout their ministry. I have a priest in my family and have witnessed that first-hand. I hope that you feel the love, support and prayers from your parish family and all those who read your blog. Your tribute to your mother is beautiful, as I’m sure she was to everyone!

    With sympathy and prayers,

    Margaret K.

    >

    Like

  18. What a beautiful tribute to your Mother. You and your siblings are the wonderful legacy that she leaves behind. As a mother myself, I can tell you that all she did for you is truly an act of love. Her love is an embrace that will last a lifetime. I wish you and your siblings strength in the coming months. My deepest sympathies to you and your entire family.

    Like

  19. Father,I am so sorry to hear of your mom’s death.You and your family are in my prayers.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  20. Fr.Don, your beautiful remembrance of your mother and all the meaning of her life means so much to all of us. You were blessed to have such a wonderful mother in your life . As you know loss is both a loss and thankfulness for her well lived life. Thank you for sharing this moment in your life and your families life. Our prayers are with all of you.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  21. Father Farnan is talking about the death of his mother in this article. I thought you might be interested.
    Anita

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  22. Fr DonWhat a beautiful tribute for a beautiful mom!  May God continue to Bless you all with His Grace, Peace and Love. 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Like

  23. Fr. Don, what a lovely tribute to your Mom.  Please know my thouhgts and prayers are with you and your family.  Though we know she is in a far better place, it is hard to let go.  God be with you and yours. Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

    Like

  24. Your mom sounds amazing! Someone who raised her children well. So sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family through this time of loss of a great woman. As you said, “her beauty on the other side”…. must be shining brightly!

    Like

  25. Father Farnan,
    I am so sorry for the grief and loss you are feeling. It sounds like she was an amazing women and I know she raised an amazing son. You, your family and your mom will be in my prayers.

    Like

  26. Sincere condolences Father Don , thoughts and prayers for you and your family 🙏🏻💔

    On Sat, May 30, 2020 at 6:19 PM CHARGED WITH SAINT CHARLES wrote:

    > Father Don Farnan posted: “I suppose that every child views his/her mother > as the most beautiful being on this side of eternity. I was no different. > Hers was the beauty of a maternal god-figure. Of course, with the passage > of time exterior beauty fades. As my mom gave birth to ” >

    Like

  27. Fr. Farnan I understand from your previous messages that your Mother was praying for this. But if you are like me, seeing a loving Mother go, somehow leaves a strange, empty space no matter how long we’ve had her with us. Christine & I are praying for you and your family. Take care of yourself and stay well.

    Tom Bradshaw

    >

    Like

  28. Hello Father Farnan, I want to pass along my condolences to you and your entire family for the passing of your mother. I am sorry for your loss and the Mother’s Beauty article was very touching. Eileen Van Buskirk Krebs

    On Sat, May 30, 2020 at 6:19 PM CHARGED WITH SAINT CHARLES wrote:

    > Father Don Farnan posted: “I suppose that every child views his/her mother > as the most beautiful being on this side of eternity. I was no different. > Hers was the beauty of a maternal god-figure. Of course, with the passage > of time exterior beauty fades. As my mom gave birth to ” >

    Like

  29. Pingback: Helen Farnan
  30. Pingback: Helen Farnan
  31. Father Don,
    What a wonderful remembrance of your mother. It is so hard to lose a parent at any age. Our loss is the path to God’s spectacular kingdom. A beautiful tribute to a lovely woman who raised a wonderful son. May God be with you and your family at this time.
    Love,
    Rachel and the whole Looney family.

    Like

  32. So sorry Father Don for your loss of your Mom . You are in my thoughts and prayers 🙏 through this time and find peace knowing she is with the Lord. God bless you

    On Sat, May 30, 2020, 6:19 PM CHARGED WITH SAINT CHARLES wrote:

    > Father Don Farnan posted: “I suppose that every child views his/her mother > as the most beautiful being on this side of eternity. I was no different. > Hers was the beauty of a maternal god-figure. Of course, with the passage > of time exterior beauty fades. As my mom gave birth to ” >

    Like

  33. Our prayers are with you and your family! What an example of God’s love your mother was, and what beautiful memories your family has. We are sorry for your loss.

    Like

  34. beautiful tribute to your mother. So sorry for your loss.

    On Sat, May 30, 2020 at 6:18 PM CHARGED WITH SAINT CHARLES wrote:

    > Father Don Farnan posted: “I suppose that every child views his/her mother > as the most beautiful being on this side of eternity. I was no different. > Hers was the beauty of a maternal god-figure. Of course, with the passage > of time exterior beauty fades. As my mom gave birth to ” >

    Like

Comments are closed.