Sunday, May 08, 2005

on the example of my mother and evidence of the Resurrection

Today is Mother's Day. I wanted to say something about my mom, but I wasn't sure what... Then I read what The Anchoress had to say about the evidence of the Resurrection. Her thoughts, and the article that she includes in her post, remind me of why (at least, one of many reasons why) I believe in the Resurrection. My parents did a wonderful job of giving me a solid Catholic education. They planned their lives around allowing me and my siblings to go to Catholic school and to be active in our church community. But more than that, they showed me by example that the Catholic faith is not simply something to be learned and a set of rules to be followed, it must made real and tangible in the way we live.

When I think of my mom, I realize that all my life I have had before me a beautiful example of Steadfast Love and Unapologetic Truth. My mom was, and still is, a safeguard against relativism in my life. It is she who reminds me so often that what is true is always and universally true, and by example shows me that this commitment to truth is not something to be pursued when you feel like it, but a choice to be made at every moment.

The article that the Anchoress quotes reminds us that it is the way we love one another that will point the world to Jesus. So often we are led to believe or tempted to act in a way that says love is for ourselves, an emotion that binds two people together, until some future time when they may fall out of love and realize they were not right for each other after all. The love of my parents gives lie to that notion. There have been times when I have looked at my parents and said to myself, "this isn't the kind of marriage I want. I don't want to turn out like my parents." My parents' marriage is not perfect. They fight - a lot. Yet, I have never doubted they love each other. Why? Because they showed me that love is not a feeling of always being happy or always being "in love." Love is a choice, a commitment that is lived out in every action so that every difficulty will be faced and worked through, not run away from. When I was a child, I said that I never would want a relationship like this. Now I know that the love I am looking for will undoubtedly be wrapped in similar packaging.

There is no happily ever after in this world, but there is an even better story. The kinds of love that last in this world are not made of fairy dust and glass slippers, but are hewn from the wood of the Cross. Only this kind of love could have resulted in the sacrifices that Mom has made for us, her family. The Resurrection, I realize now, is meaningless without a Cross, and the crosses we all must experience are pointless without the Resurrection. My Mom never gave up hope in her crosses, because of her unfailing hope in the Resurrection. It is because of her example that I am able to believe.

No comments: