AKA: Mother's Day.
Y'all, I hope you all had a blessed day. I know it wasn't easy for everyone, but I hope that it was good. You've been on my heart. I will say that Mass was not 100% smooth sailing, but it was absolutely lovely in a number of ways. I went to an early Mass at a church I don't usually go to and was immediately reassured by by the fact that it wasn't terribly full and the people that were there mostly had gray hair. And the priest that was celebrating the Mass is an amazing priest. You know what happened after he got up front? He celebrated the Mass. No mention of the secular holiday at the greeting, and his homily was centered around the readings (and it was really fantastic and just what I needed to hear, as it turns out). Nothing about motherhood. There was a petition, but it was broad enough that I felt that it included about everyone.
The real kicker, though, was the blessing of the mothers. The blessing is difficult for me, but I do think that we should have it. As I've said, I do think that Mother's Day is something that is good to celebrate. The fact that it is hard for some of us doesn't mean that we shouldn't celebrate it. I was where I could leave if I needed it to. But here's where the priest kept coming with the amazingness. He invited all mothers to stand, "mothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, godmothers, and spiritual mothers." Although I chose not to stand (because it's still kind of weird), it allows anyone to stand up, because women are all called to nurture and love the people in our lives in a way that brings them closer to God. Obviously, those that are also physical mothers are called to be spiritual mothers first to their children, but also to anyone that is brought in their life. Those of us that for whatever reason are not physical mothers, are still called to nurture and "mother" those in our lives.
I didn't really care that I wasn't standing. I was in the back, I didn't feel conspicuous. I think it was also because I felt I could have stood if I wanted to that I didn't mind sitting quite as much. But the part that was absolutely most important was that because of the way he said it, and because I finally understood it, when he gave a beautiful blessing, he meant me, too. He meant all of you who ache for children that are no longer here, or whose arms are empty but whose hearts are full with a love that you would so love to give a child. Standing or sitting didn't matter to me, because I wasn't left out of the blessing itself. And for once I could see that in a real way, instead of just a cerebral way.
For once when I ducked out of church early on a Mother's Day, the tears were not only because it was hard, but also because it was healing.