Mother Church holds us to her bosom for nourishment and comfort. Mother Church knows the ways of the world & that everything around us will distract us and potentially harm us. She knows that ultimately if we want to live and live well we will return to Her. However, She also acknowledges that the decision is ours to make, not Hers. Although She continues to love us even when we turn away, She cannot force us to love Her back. There are times when we strike out against the Church for reasons of our own. When we do, we hurt the Church (by lack of members and devoted witnesses), but She always remains steadfast and patiently awaits our apology and return. Through Her patient love and corrections, She guides us back to right paths - sometimes through reprimands that seem harsh, but they're always loving.
As a mother, I hold Simon to my bosom for nourishment and comfort as well. There are times when Simon is much more interested in what's going on with the world at large than with my nourishment and/or comfort. During those times I have to tell myself that he'll come back to me when he's ready. I just have to wait patiently. There are times when he rebels against my breast and even strikes out, either with fist or teeth, against it. I have to reprimand him for these times, but continually show him that I love him and will always be there for him.
When I struggle w/ Simon during our afternoon feedings (or middle of the night feedings), I must remind myself that I've been that rebellious little one to the Church as well. I constantly remind myself to remain steadfast and patient.
A mother's love is all-encompassing and everlasting. I learned that from my own mother & from my glorious Mother Church. I hope to remain as faithful as these two mothers, so I can reap the rewards later. Thank you, Mom, for teaching me these things. Thank you, Church, for guiding me through right paths & patiently waiting for me to return to them.