Friday, November 20, 2009

Learning from Mary

If there was such a thing as a reader award, it would have to go to Jennifer. She logs on throughout the day - every day. She posts comments now and then, with a thought or a word of encouragement. She probably has no idea how much that means.

She has a blog of her own. A Catholic Mom After God's Own Heart. You should check it out. I feel my stress level go down just by clicking on. It simply looks pleasing to the eye - aesthetically. And it is dripping with grace.

There's a Scripture verse at the top of Jennifer's blog that sets the tone. I remember the first time I ran across that verse . . . I couldn't make sense of it. It was a number of years ago and I was just reading during devotional time. Devotional time is the term Evangelicals use in place of Lectio Divina. In other words, reading Sacred Scripture prayerfully.

The verse is I Timothy 2:15. But a woman will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Okay, if you're Evangelical, you were always told that you are saved by saying the sinner's prayer of repentance. Jesus, Come into my heart. Forgive my sins. I accept you as Lord.

That's it. And that's what I believed . . . until I read I Timothy 2:15.

Hold everything. What's this? A woman will be saved through motherhood? What is that all about? I thought we were all saved by asking Jesus to come inside. You didn't have to do anything. It was free. Grace. Faith. Belief.
And then a new picture started to take shape. It began with the venue for salvation. It had something to do with perseverance. Suffering as in labor. Self-giving and self-donating like a mother. Living a life of daily holiness, even in the most trying moments.

Like the morning after you bury your father and your daughter is sick with the stomach flu and throwing up and you are holding her head and wanting to cry and never stop crying but you need to get it together and go be a hostess to all the cousins who have borrowed your bedrooms and bathrooms in order to be there . . . and your older children are grieving and your mother is completely lost and nobody expected any of this to happen just three days after Christmas and you don't know what you are going to do now. Yes, that is what it's like to be a mother. Motherhood stops for nothing. Motherhood requires everything that we are. No matter what.

Eventually, the verse takes on more layers. Salvation is not a moment in time. In this verse salvation is yet to come. It is written in the future tense. I cannot assume that it is a done deal. Not something past. But rather, it is something yet to come.

And the final layer. The layer that no Protestant can grasp - unless he enters Mother Church:

This verse is about perseverance, suffering, holiness, love, self-donation, and -- it is about a mother who embraced all of this. The Blessed Mother. The Queen of mothers. The one who said yes to an angel and yes to motherhood and opened the gates for salvation to enter in.

In the heart of the Blessed Mother, we see how all of this comes together. We realize that we, too, can learn from her. In the heart of Mother Church.

Salvation is not a moment in time when we say a prayer.

Salvation will be ours provided we learn the lesson of perfect motherhood.

May it be done unto me, according to your word.



1 comment:

  1. Denise, imagine my surprise when I logged on today! Thank you for your kind words! :) I really do log on everyday! I love reading your articles. They're so encouraging and I almost always learn something here. :) I really liked what you said about 1 Tim 2:15. I just love that verse! To a mom, it means so much!

    God Bless!