10 May 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Whether we think of our own Mothers, of the teachers and others who also acted as "Mothers" to us in times of need and unique circumstances, of the Sisters we know or once knew who do and did more mothering than many realize, or of Mary the Theotokos who was given to us as Mother and Sister, today is a day to express our gratitude for the unique love we have  received --- a love which allows us to be truly ourselves and persons who in turn love the world into wholeness.

Thomas Merton once said that, "Hermits are created by difficult Mothers." Perhaps, but in my own life the truth is also richer and more complex than that. "Difficult" mothers may contribute to our tendency to become "loners" or introverts and eventually to turn to God as seekers of meaning and our world's redemption, but if we are truly fortunate others will also  touch us with a Divine love that is profoundly maternal and reminds us that eremitical solitude is more about communion and compassion than it is about isolation and self-centered struggle and suffering. (Clearly Thomas Merton knew this quite well, how ever he came to know it.)

In my own life I have had a number of "Mothers." Each is special and each has made a unique contribution to my life. Each bears significant responsibility for nurturing the life God calls me to and for making me more holy than I might have been without them. Each has been a friend to me and taught me something about the humor, patience, seriousness, consistency, gentleness, acceptance, persistence, courage, generosity, faith, and love we are each incomplete and less than human without. Edna, Marilyn, Margaret, Mar, Mary (several Mary's in fact) --- I thank God for your significant and continuing presence in my life.

 I hope we will each and all take some time today to name in our prayer all of those who have mothered us and enabled us to mother or father others throughout our lives. They all, "difficult" or not, represent one of God's greatest gifts to those adopted ones he calls "friends".