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Loretto’s Mission Reflects Call To Nurture All Life

Posted on May 9, 2022, by Loretto Community

‘We are each meant to be mothers of God.’

Meister Eckhart von Hochheim OP

We all want “to birth love” in the world. Or, at least, we should. Meister Eckhart, the 14th century theologian, offers a means to a better understanding of this desire by way of asking this challenging question: “What good is it if the birth of God takes place, but does not take place in me?” We can say “yes” to a creative, generative calling or shrink back in fear. How will you answer? How will I? Can we inspire each other to do more? Read the stories this week in Loretto’s Facebook pages. You will read about nurturing life. Mothers know: God is always needing to be born.

Susan Carol McDonald SL relaxes with Mischa at New Haven Nursery in Saigon, Vietnam. Mischa now lives in France.
Photo courtesy of Mischa Yarwood

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Mothers can see clearly, they understand that line from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novella, “The Little Prince.” Mothers know you can’t force the heart, but you can guide it through all its spaces. Mothers fill children’s hearts with compassion,  faith, strong self-identity and clear values, guiding them to “rightly” see.

Have you ever been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We answer from what we know: a teacher, a doctor, an astronaut, a mom or dad, a musician, and on and on. The list is long, and it changes as the person grows and does some self-discovery, finding new ways to express who they really are and what they want to be when they grow up. How many times did you change that answer?

In the book, ”Seeds of Contemplation,” Loretto friend Thomas Merton wrote, “For me, to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore, the problem of sanctity is the problem of finding out who I am and discovering my true self.”

Mothers help us all discover our true self. Mothers give us a center from which to grow. We “birth God” as Meister Eckhart, says when we love all that God makes from the beginning of creation to this very day. 

Black-and-white photo of a White woman sitting on the floor with six toddlers of varying racial backgrounds playing around her.
Above, orphaned toddlers happily swarm Susan Carol McDonald SL at New Have Nursery in Saigon, Vietnam. Susan, an RN who volunteered with children in Vietnam, nursed infants and toddlers who were often in precarious health and helped send them to adoptive homes in the U.S. and other countries.
Photo courtesy of Loretto Archives

To all who are moms in a myriad of ways — mothers, grandma’s, aunts, teachers, ministers, nurses, gardeners, social workers, caregivers, librarians, doctors, lawyers, supreme court justices and vice-presidents —: Happy Mother’s Day!

And thank you!


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