A blogger I deeply admire recently wrote about why we call God Father, not mother. (Hint: Because He asked us to!) It’s a great post. Be sure to read it! It’s full of meaty quotes from the catechism. As I read it, I considered why people would want to call God mother. Those who do so are sincerely questing after God. We all make this mistake occasionally. By making God more like us, we hope to bring Him nearer. But we are made in His image. We cannot remake Him in our own. Then we are just a series of mirrors reflecting and refracting endlessly on. We do not gain a fruitful creation; only mere illusion. None of this is necessary! God being Father does not invalidate or diminish my vocation as a mother. After all, He is the author of human motherhood. Trust in Him to imbue your state with everything that is necessary!
I do a lot of driving for the kiddo. My favorite podcasts are less active in the summer, so I’ve been looking for other things to fill the gap. While browsing Spotify, I stumbled across the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Lately, I’ve been praying the rosary with them. I know there are assigned days for each set of mysteries, but this newbie has just been listening to the joyful mysteries over and over. The second joyful mystery is called the visitation. Like all of the mysteries, the Sisters introduce it by reading scripture and making a short prayer. Part of which includes:
We pray for the virtue of charity. Mary’s charity in visiting her cousin Elizabeth enabled their sons to meet mystically in their mothers’ wombs.
Charity is always realized by unity.
Charity is always realized by unity.
Those words have been running around in my head for weeks.
Charity isn’t a one-way street of “haves” giving to “have-nots.” This is something I have to repent of. I can pipe up with the verse re: give in secret. But when I give remotely, anonymously, furtively, then I’m supporting an idea, not a person. A cause, not my brother.
The poverty of loneliness
I’m reminded of what Mother Teresa said. “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”
Have you noticed how frequently homeless persons have dogs? Even though shelters and halfway houses do not accept pets. Why would they adopt these animals then? Because our human need for connection, to give and receive love, our need for unity is even greater than our need for shelter and security.
Even for introverts?
I’m an introvert. I’d rather eat my shoes than approach a stranger for conversation. Passing a drink out of my car window seemed much easier. Pressing a five-spot into a woman’s hand then hustling away was safer. I could check “corporal act of mercy (1)” off my list and move on. But there comes a point when we have to admit that “It is/isn’t in my nature” is not a justification. We inherited our sin nature from our first parents: Adam and Eve. Our inclinations against unity are not something to embrace, but to repent of. To rise above. We must remember our other inheritance. We are image bearers of God. Not only to have but bear. To carry to others in unity. The glow of a lonely person’s face when you ask “What’s your dog’s name?” is the brightest light this side of Heaven.
Did you know that summers are the hardest season for community food pantries? Donations run high during the holiday season (Thanksgiving through Christmas) with another surge during Lent and Easter. It’s wonderful to see Christians celebrating the birth and resurrection of our Savior by “feeding his sheep.” Sadly, donations fall just as the need for food rises each summer.
Charitable work is so easy with lots of little ones, isn’t it? As stay-at-home-moms, we have an overabundance of time. Plus our children are perfectly behaved on volunteering trips and family outings. Just kidding!
When getting to the pediatrician, church on Sunday, or even just the grocery store feels like World War III, it’s hard to find ways to give back to others. Here are some ideas to get you contributing to feed the hungry, without ever leaving your home.
Welcome to our very first in the series, Mercy Monday. In case you’re wondering what this is about, check the first post Works of Mercy.
We’re going to focus on studying one work of mercy for the whole month. We’ll also take a quick look ahead at what I’ll be doing all month to live out a life of mercy. I’d love for you to join in from home.