by Howard Hain
A living faith works. It is always active, especially when we are docile to the Spirit.
When we walk by faith we see, we hear, we speak what God intends, especially when we are blind to the cares and anxieties of the world.
Small children are wonderfully active, superbly passive, and at times they seem completely blind, fantastically blind. They are alive. They see. They hear. They speak. They watch. They feel.
Mother Church calls all of us home, even when she is silent. She is always at work. She watches us even when her eyes are busy with the business of the day.
She sews. We just need to obey. To trust. To allow ourselves the freedom to lay across her lap.
In the short description upon the little museum card hanging beneath the painting shown above, God has planted great instruction. The work is by American impressionist Mary Cassatt.
According to the card, about the year 1890 “Cassatt redirected her art toward women caring for children and children alone—themes that reflected her affection for her nieces and nephews and the prevailing cultural interest in child rearing.” And then, after informing us that for this particular painting Cassatt “enlisted two unrelated models to enact the roles of mother and child”, the card completes its little catechesis by blessing us with a precious little anecdote and quote:
Louisine Havemeyer, who purchased it in 1901, remarked on its truthfulness: “Look at that little child that has just thrown herself against her mother’s knee, regardless of the result and oblivious to the fact that she could disturb ‘her mamma.’ And she is quite right, she does not disturb her mother. Mamma simply draws back a bit and continues to sew.”
God are we blessed. So blessed to have such a mother. All of us. Maybe give her a call today. Better yet, perhaps even stop by. She’d love that. She’d love to see your face. You’re always on her mind and in her heart. She lives in the closest church you can find, any building that truly houses her Son.
If she seems a little occupied with the “cooking and cleaning”, with all “the business of life”, don’t let that stop you or cut your visit short. No, throw yourself against your “mother’s knee regardless of the result and oblivious to the fact” that you could disturb your “mamma.”
It most certainly does not.
“Mamma simply draws back a bit and continues to sew.”
Howard Hain is a contemplative layman, husband, and father.
Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardDHain
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