Mother Jesus

from today’s Daily Office, a canticle of St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1109)

Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you:
You are gentle with us as a mother with her children;
Often you weep over our sins and our pride:
tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgment.
You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds:
in sickness you nurse us,
and with pure milk you feed us.
Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life:
by your anguish and labor we come forth in joy.
Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness:
through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.
Your warmth gives life to the dead:
your touch makes sinners righteous.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us:
in your love and tenderness remake us.
In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness:
for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

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Why post this?  Because exclusively paternal images of God don’t do the Bible justice.  And they rob us of the motherly comfort and care God wants to offer us, particularly when we are a mess, or feel unlovable.  One of my favorite images in the Bible is of an extravagantly loving Father running toward his screwed up, addict of a son.  It’s in Luke 15, and it’s one of the most moving and motherly images of God in the entire Bible.  If you want to learn more about God as a loving and compassionate Mother in Luke 15, read Kenneth Bailey’s fantastic book.

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