Thursday, May 7, 2015

"We Are All Mothers" by Hildy Gerard ARCWP

We are All Mothers

To borrow from a headline in a recent NY Times editorial about women
religious, 'We are All Nuns', We are All Mothers, too. It is Mothers Day, a
day specially designated to honor our mothers by buying them jewelry,
flowers and even smart phones, according to the mainstream media.

Mothers are remarkable women. Most in our culture hold full time jobs, while
simultaneously serving as 'house managers," supervising childcare, cooking,
cleaning, scheduling, chauffeuring, elder care, etc. In addition to these
task-oriented jobs, women in families typically hold the less-tangible,
heart-centered role - exhibiting warmth, intuition, compassion and
connection to the extended family, the neighborhood, the church and the
wider community. Now imagine carrying all of this without the loving support
of a spouse or partner... and doing it anyway.

So if this is the case, why are women often portrayed as soft, passive or
weak? Jesus tells us in today's reading from John to "remain in my love."
Our mothers take these words to heart and live them. Remaining in love
requires tremendous strength. I recently heard a song by Jan Novotka,
containing the words "I am strong, I am tall..." and considered mothers
everywhere who carry their children, both inside and outside the womb, with
love and strength.

As we honor our biological mothers, let us recall all women who are
childless mothers - those women who nurture and demonstrate love to
motherless children all over the globe. Religious women, of unique strength
and intellect, who serve people on the margins; they are our mothers, too.
Women in our own communities foster and guide children and adults in
countless ways; they are our mothers, too.

This love Jesus speaks of is not soft, nor is it romantic. It is an energy
that faces the truth head on, that demonstrates not passive acceptance, but
rather the willingness to navigate the reality of the stumbling mess that
raising children entails. Recall your own mother, aunt, grandmother,
spiritual mother...honor them today. They are whole human beings, not one-
dimensional creatures. They bring us into the world, without a roadmap to
motherhood, loving us, then sending us on, while remaining in love. Let us
honor our mothers and all mothers for who they truly are.

Edwina Gateley, author, poet, artist, mom, and spiritual mother to
thousands, honored her own mother, who died at 100 years of age, with these

I miss you, Mum,
beautiful soul.
I need no saints,
nor martyrs and virgins
to tell me of God -
only you, Mum,
with your teapot and your love
standing in the doorway,
shining with delight:
"Is it you, Edwina?
Oh, is it you?"

Hildy Gerard, ARCWP

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