Mothers say "yes" to God
“To give is to receive, and this law of life allows every mother to be called ‘blessed’—despite the sorrows that inevitably come.”
Mothers make the world go round, and once a year on Mother’s Day the world recognizes this fact. In truth, nothing is quite so important for the well-being of an individual or a population as highly effective maternal nurturance. Essential caretaking starts with the physical protection and provisioning of the unborn in the womb. After birth, a child requires years of extended support and nurturing until he or she matures.
With new research findings it is now recognized that a mother’s actions from the beginning of conception will affect her child’s short- and long-term development. What a woman eats, drinks and ingests during her pregnancy affects her unborn offspring’s health, even in later adult years.
Secret of good mothering
More obviously, psychological and social flourishing of children is rooted in the quality of a mother’s personal and emotional interactions with them. The bonds of love and attachment with children enable a child to learn and engage in the child’s “love affair with the world.” Human beings are innately equipped with awesome capacities for language, reasoning and emotional responsiveness, but good mothering allows the seeds to flourish and bloom. From peek-a-boo to mutual eye gaze, babies are inducted into the human family. You first learn how to “be in relationship” with others in your mother’s arms.
The secret of good mothering lies in attending to and empathizing with a child, and responding with whatever needs to be done to fulfill the child’s needs. The more love, energy and intelligence a mother expends, the more successfully the child can increase in wisdom and grace. To be loved and affirmed, to be enjoyed, talked to and gently guided, starts a young life out well.
The mother-child dance creates new social persons. Families are well described as the first school of life which transmits morality, faith and cultural traditions. A mother’s attitudes and emotions are contagious; children become moral and good by living with beloved good adults. Children desire to be like their parents and receive the implicit and explicit messages of the family. Civilization 101 is a home-based course that is continually in session, with Mother as chief instructor.
As all teachers and parents know, learning and growing up with others is always a two-way street. To give is to receive, and this law of life allows every mother to be called “blessed”—despite the sorrows that inevitably come. Altruism and sacrifice are made lighter when mothering love is present.
The staying power of kinship
Love can be identified as the fusion of interest and joy. It appears early in infancy and lasts a lifetime. Mothers and their children can become loving friends and fellow pilgrims on their transforming journey.
Admittedly, familiar friends and lovers often share rough patches during their common journey. The stress on modern mothers increases as they know more, play more roles in the society and hold themselves to higher standards. Occasional collapses and failures take place. Of course, since Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel, conflicts have emerged in every family, but the staying power of kinship ties is remarkable. Forgiveness of prodigal children and tolerance of parental failures are the way wounds are healed.
Giving and forgiving mother love is one of the most convincing indications we have of what God’s unconditional love for us is like. Mothers are like Jesus Christ: they open a door to us which no one can close. The faithful now understand why God is more frequently being addressed as “Our Mother” and why mystics speak of Christ as the mother who tenderly and steadfastly feeds and nourishes us. Christian faith has been understood as our “Yes, to a Yes.” A mother’s “yes” to God’s “yes” deserves to be honored—and more often than on one day a year.
How do you think mothers are like Jesus Christ? When have you witnessed a mother saying “yes” to God’s “yes”? Share your thoughts by clicking on Contact Us
Wednesday, April, 29, 2009