Mother’s Day had its origins in the best of quasi-religious intent: desire to heal the wounds of the Civil War, in which so many lives had been lost in our young nation, in expectation that no one felt the pain quite as much as the mothers of the dead. It was as if a gigantic Pietá — a sorrowful Mary, mother of the Savior, nestling her son’s lifeless body in her lap, stretched through every town, city and state, testifying to the ultimate futility of warfare.

For a few moments, think about how rooted in religion Mother’s Day has always been. The mother is, as prayer says, full of grace. Mother, we read and experience, is gentle, kind and uncommonly merciful. Mother has and teaches all of the values.