Due to two recent surgeries, I’ve been lying flat on my back for most of the week, and am rather loopy. As a result, it seems that I may have inadvertently published this post before I intended to do so. If so, I apologize for any confusion.😘
Some of you may have groaned when you read the post title. I can only assure you that the overall post speaks to issues that are decidedly universal, and not dependent on any “religious” ideology. Nevertheless, there is no denying that my mother’s religious beliefs informed the manner in which she raised me, and contributed to the formation of the person that I am today.
With that said, I was born and raised in the Catholic faith, spending 12 years in the New Orleans Catholic school system. As I grew older, I expanded my limited knowledge and gained an appreciation for the moral teachings on which Christianity, and many other religions are rooted. I also recognize that “religions ” hold no monopoly over such moral truths, but that they exist in the hearts and minds of most of us.
Although I don’t walk around hiding my faith and beliefs, I have no need to hold them up as proof that I am better than others. Yet, because of the constant mental and emotional disquiet caused by the state of the country, the use of religion to justify the inexcusable, and the silence, and, or worse, support for inarguably un-Christian, and immoral beliefs and acts, I feel compelled to write this short, but in my heart, meaningful post to declare where I stand.
Just the other day, right after overhearing a person embracing the Bible to justify his belief that religious persecution and racism are in line with its teachings, I happened upon the words to the Second Commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Every time I hear these seven words, they send a shiver up my spine. These words wield such power, are clear, concise, and offer no room for endless misinterpretation, exceptions or conditions. They should be etched in the hearts of both Christians, those who claim to be “Christians,” non-Christians, as well as those who hold no religious beliefs, but value love, compassion and empathy.
Quite unconsciously, as I read the words, I thought of the following as my “mission statement” of sorts:
The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness.
When you become a mother, you are no longer
the center of your own universe.
You relinquish that position to your children. ~ Jessica Lange
As the mother of three grown children and many g’children , I am familiar with the job of motherhood. I say “job,” because in spite of being a licensed attorney for over 26 years, being a mother is the far harder of the two. In the best of circumstance, a child has an intact family with a mother and father. Nevertheless, in most cases, it is the mother who takes the primary role of raising the child. Children do not come with an instruction manual and even the best of mothers make mistakes. Yet, so long as a mother imbues her child with unconditional love, kindness, the strength of character, respect for themselves and others, honesty and most importantly, curiosity, the child will prosper.
For all of you mothers and g’mothers out there, and in some cases, fathers, toiling to raise amazing human beings, I commend you for your efforts and wish you peace, happiness, good health and boundless love. I also wish you a day of relaxation, pampering and peace, because you certainly deserve it and more. Thank you for undertaking a role that, thanks to your love and guidance, will hopefully serve to produce an adult well-equipped to face and contribute to our society.
For those friends who have lost your Mother, you are in my thoughts. I pray that you hold good thoughts and memories about your beloved mother and that she is still alive in your heart. She will always be your Mother.
Finally, to those friends who are Mothers who have lost your precious children, I can’t presume to comprehend your thoughts and feelings, except to the extent that when I think of losing one of my beloved children, it shatters my heart. All that I can say is that I am sorry for your loss and pray for you as you go through this day. Yet, you still are, and always will be, a treasured mother. Happy Mother’s Day!