Mothers bring into new being. Honoring all who have learned compassion and mothering in their lives and work and giving to generations to come

From Matthew Fox, Mother’s Day, 2021

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and grandmothers, living and ancestral!

“Sophia” by Mary Plaster

Happy Mother’s Day too to all those women and men who have learned compassion and mothering in their lives and work and giving to generations to come.  This of course translates into our love for and work to defend Mother Earth, since if she continues to be sacrificed on the altar of human idolatries of power, privilege, pillaging and short-term financial profits, future generations will be unmothered, unhealthy and uninspired by her dreams and gifts.  

As Hildegard of Bingen put it, using language any indigenous person would understand immediately, “Earth is the mother of all, in her are the seeds of all.” 

Rightly does Julian of Norwich instruct us that mothering is intrinsic to Divinity in all its manifestations—as Creator—“God feels great delighted to be our Mother” and “Jesus is our true Mother in whom we are endlessly carried and out of whom we will never come…our Mother of Mercy who restores and redeems us.”  And “compassion belongs to the motherhood [and] protects, increases our sensitivity, gives life and heals.”

Icon of Mary as Divine Mother posted to Flickr by York Minster.

In our recent DM’s, we have been focusing on the return of shamanism in our time—something that Thomas Berry believed is central to the survival of our planet and our species.  Most recently, we have named those experiences of “rupture” in our lives as being very often a breaking open and a breaking through. These open our capacities, a deep empowering that renders us healers, broken and wounded, who become healers for others.  

The becoming of a literal mother carries disturbances or ruptures that a healthy society honors through rites of passage—but an unhealthy society ignores to its peril. Mothering God You Gave Birth to Me arranged by Zebulon Highben. Originally posted to YouTube by PreludeMusicPlanner.

And, in a parallel way, a boy’s coming to the time when he is capable of fathering a child ought to be recognized and honored as a sacred occasion, an empowerment to bring new life into the community.  Sadly, it is often ignored in a society that has forgotten the sacred.

It is not just literal motherhood we honor today.  Artists, engineers, inventors and all those who bring new being into the world that serves the Earth community are Mothers we honor today.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond, pp. 103, 45-58. 

And Matthew Fox, Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint For Our Times, pp. 33-44.

Banner Image: “Mother and Child.” Painting by M.C. Richards. From a private collection.

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