“Ask a Priest: What’s a Worried Mom to Do?”

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Q: My son was born with health issues. He is now 19 years old, and these health issues can be life-threatening. I pray to God all the time to help my son but also to help me to worry less. I’m so worried about my son dying and leaving me here in so much pain from his loss. This worry is constant. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong because I pray to God … yet I still worry. I don’t know what to do. Do you have any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong? Thank you. -C.H.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: I am sorry to hear about the life-threatening problems that your son faces. Our Lord has allowed a heavy cross in your life, no doubt. Your cross is not unlike that of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s, who watched her own Son suffer.

Part of our faith lies in the belief that God loves each one of us, and that he can bring something good out of evil — including the suffering of a loved one.

In many ways God has already shown you great graces. He has given you a son to love, and the fact that you continue to be a dedicated mom to him amid his suffering is a sign of how deep your capacity for love goes.

So you have someone to love: your son. You know your mission in life right now: to support him as much as possible. A person to love, a mission to live — many people wish they could sense as much in their own lives. Maybe all of this is part of God’s loving response to you right now.

Your commitment to your son is a powerful witness to those around you. Your love and fidelity is an example that the world needs to see.

So often when we think we are weak and helpless, Our Lord is working through us to touch the hearts of others. Perhaps he is doing that through you right now. You might be helping others to discover what is really important in life.

For now, it might be good to try meditating about God’s love for you and your son. Try to focus on the passion and death of Jesus as a sign of his personal love for you. You might want to consider doing the online retreat “Trouble with Trust” at RCSpirituality.org.

Cultivate your devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Ask her for help. She knows the heart of a mom. She knows how much you love your son. Mary will be there to comfort.

Beyond that, take things one day at a time. And remember that you will always be a mom to your son, no matter what.

I hope some of this helps. Count on you and your son being included in one of my Mass intentions.

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