What a holiday whirlwind! I survived it, but I did go through the predictable path of cooking and baking, wrapping packages and decorating, entertaining family and friends, and leaving a heavy dusting of glitter behind . . . all through the house!
I managed to work in the slightest bit of contemplation, reflection and drawing nearer to the God-child in the stable. I managed to reflect on the young girl who would give birth to the Messiah, to think about her emotions throughout her most miraculous ordeal. I thought of her joy, her surprise, her confusion, her sense of wonder, her fear — emotions that began after an angel appeared to her.
I contemplated the angels all around — Mary’s angel and Joseph’s, Zachariah‘s angel, the angels that comforted the shepherds. I wondered how the angel visits must have seemed, especially to Joseph who communed with an angel multiple times.
Most of all, though, I related to the mother Mary, and the things she discovered along the way about being a mother to this particular child. It’s appropriate, I think, to reflect on the mother’s emotions, to compare them with my own mother emotions.
To miss my son who lives hundreds of miles away.
To long to see my grandchildren opening their Christmas gifts.
To think about all the joy, and all the pain, of being a mother.
And from that contemplative activity, to learn and grow, to gain a fresh understanding about mothering, and to learn what mothering has to do with faith.
When all is said and done — with Christmas wrappings in the trash and glitter all vacuumed up — I recall the wise words of Meister Eckhart about mothering:
“We are all meant to be mothers of God for God is always needing to be born.”