Happy Mother’s Day, extended into the week, to all you women and men who mother the Earth’s people!
True – only women can give physical birth, but men join women in offering spiritual birth and nurturing, the milk of compassion and mercy.
Did you know that Saint Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury and Doctor of the Church, wrote in the late 11th century about Jesus being our mother? This is how he frames it:
And you, Jesus, are you not also a mother?
Are you not the mother who, like a hen,
gathers her chicks under her wings?
Truly, Lord, you are a mother;
for both they who are in labor
and the who are brought forth
are accepted by you.
Christ, my mother,
You gather your chicks under your wings.
This dead chicken of yours puts himself under those wings;
for by your gentleness the badly frightened ones are comforted,
by your sweet smell the despairing are revived.
Now let’s have some fun! With some family members and friends, try to recall the “momilies” that came from your mothers when you were young. The word “momily” was coined in 1985. Michelle Slung’s book of remembered Momilies included these gems:
If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well!
I’m only doing this for your own good!
It’s only your mother who will tell you the truth!
This is not a hotel!
It’s not what you wear, it’s who you are!
If you’re quiet, you must be up to no good!
Hope that’s enough to whet your memory.
Whatever this day/week means to you or doesn’t, all year long, we can make moments to honor the special ones who have created us: our God, our Christ, our mother earth, our birth mother, all the mothers of our lives.
~Sister Joan Sobala