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A Mother Knows So Much About Systemic Change

by | May 8, 2019 | Formation, Reflections, Systemic change | 1 comment

Mothers – Masters of Systemic Change

I rarely think of connecting the dots between mothers and systemic change. Yet, aren’t mothers masters of the process of systemic change?  Think of it. Mothers everywhere are key agents of the transformation of helpless newborns into independent adults.

  • Mothers help children not only visualize their dreams.
  • Mothers help them realize their full potential so that their lives will be much better.
  • Mothers generally take pride when their children hit milestones and deliver significant achievements in life.
  • Mothers are role models.

How many of us still live by things that our mothers taught us by word and example? Amazingly, most often children do not consciously reflect on these roles of their mother. More often they focus on more tangible things.

What does Mary Mother of the church have to say to us and to our church?

Think about the post-Easter community, still rocking and reeling from the impact of the Spirit of the risen Jesus. The Book of Acts offers us an image of the early Christian Community.. “One in mind and heart and possessions, they live in a communion that overflows into mission” – an ideal picture, to be sure, but one that in later chapters did not reflect the reality on the ground!

As the early church faced questions like “Who can belong? Who will lead us? How do we fit in with our Jewish brothers and sisters? Can the Gentiles belong to Christ if they don’t follow Jewish laws and customs?” So many questions they never thought of.

I imagine that they were grateful for Mary’s motherly presence and guidance. After all, she was with them through the rise and fall of their leader. She was with them in the upper room and in those critical days. I like to think of Mary under the unofficial title “Mary,  Mother of Ongoing Formation”

What church leaders today can learn from mothers

Mothers instinctively work towards…

  • building up her family, not tearing it down
  • making room for all around the table
  • encouraging more than chastising
  • setting limits that help her family to grow in responsible freedom, leading them beyond self-absorbed concerns into a discerning awareness of what is best for all
  • not muzzling her children, but knowing how to encourage them to speak lovingly with freedom and boldness
  • seeing that the diverse gifts of her children are meant to enrich the whole family, meant to be welcomed and called forth and held in common

Let us remember to

  • pray with gratitude for our mothers who taught us so much
  • pray to Mary for her guidance and wisdom
  • pray in support of those called to the ministry of leadership and transformation in our Church today


1 Comment

  1. Michelle Loisel,DC

    John thank you for your Vincentian spirituality so creative!
    I am amazed by your diverse meditations which nourish so well our souls.

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