By Lisa Mladinich
When I explain my spirituality to other people, I tend to use mommy metaphors. As a mother, it makes perfect sense that my vocation is the lens through which I understand God’s presence and action in my life.
For instance, I have learned to trust in Our Lord’s tender and faithful affection for me. He never stops wooing my soul, calling softly to me and reminding me of his presence, much the way I once read to my daughter, when she was tiny.
We started with board books and picture books, and I held her snugly on my lap and cuddled her, while I read. My voice was gentle and sing-songy, and it didn’t matter that she comprehended so little; she felt loved, and she learned to respond to the sound of my voice. Over time, she recognized the images and started to grasp the simple plots. Eventually, she learned to anticipate the events of the story and ask questions, to probe for deeper understanding.
God tells us the story of his love in a similar way. We don’t understand most of what He is saying, but we learn to love his voice and respond to him, moment by moment and day by day. Our prayer lives start to take hold, as we begin the most important conversation of our lives. And God is so generous that, when we make even the slightest movement towards him, He is delighted, like a mother crouching in excitement and joyfully opening her arms wide to embrace a toddler taking her first step.
God is our loving Father, but he encompasses and expresses the maternal love that he created, giving it great dignity. I leave you with these consoling images of God’s “maternal” love, to pray with, today:
“… how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings …” (Matthew 23:37 NAB)
“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you …” (Isaiah 66:13)
“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)
About the Author:
Lisa Mladinich is a Catholic wife and homeschooling mom, catechist, workshop leader, and the author of True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life (Servant Books). Her children’s prayer book, Heads Bowed: Prayers for Catholic School Days (Liguori Publications), is due out this summer. She writes for CATECHIST Magazine and can be reached through her website, AmazingCatechists.com.