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Whom We Love

August 6, 2010

The reflection continues with a meditation on those whose intimacy with our motherhood is deepest, and our love for them:

He calls us into motherhood.

He calls us to know Him;

He calls us to respond to His Holy Spirit

as to our beloved spouse.

He calls us into relationship with others Whom He loves

with others newly stamped in fatherly graces.

They did not seem so stamped when we vowed the relationship;

(we seemed to marry our friends)

but now they are fathers

— and we — mothers!

In the whole of our Christian vocation, including in marriage, we are called to a spousal relationship with the Holy Spirit, a relationship of deepest intimacy, a relationship in which our deepest interiority is open to his gaze and his gracious initiative. We do not often think of this, particularly after marriage when we have a spouse in the flesh, but it remains important; it remains the total context of all relationships.

Motherhood changes us; it also changes our relationship with our husbands. By marriage, we commit ourselves to sharing their path of salvation; by motherhood, we enter into a relationship with them as fathers of our children. What a miracle it is to see a man become a father. For some, it happens all at once when they look into those miraculous eyes of the newborn and realize that the event has really taken place: I am a father!

For others, it is something that develops slowly, or something that wakens in a moment of crisis. I remember the father who spoke of standing in the doorway of a sick child and knowing that he would gladly, gladly take that sickness to himself if he could only spare his child. It is not always possible to relieve their sufferings; it is always possible to be better fathers.

When we marry, we do not always realize that we are marrying the father of our children. When it happens, beautiful graces are offered to these best friends of ours; and to us, also, new graces are offered. One day, the “newlywed” becomes a mother.

Every relationship changes when a woman becomes a mother, because her interior life changes. She has given life. Her own life will never be the same.

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