We moms are good at berating ourselves for not being “content”. We feel guilty about our unrest, our impatience, our ungratefulness. We suspect it’s indicative of spiritual immaturity, something we can pray our way out of. But what if contentment was never the point? What if we’re not supposed to be content? What if the idea of contentment through motherhood is simply a bill of goods we’ve been sold? Most mothers are not content, we are hungry. Hungry for a deeper spiritual life, hungry for inner healing, hungry for intimate friendships, hungry for more of ourselves. We are immersed in a society that has always told us the hunger of women is bad, dangerous, undesirable. In every possible way we have been indoctrinated to believe that our hunger will make us too big, too indelicate, too uncomfortable to be around. Here, have this small salad and be satisfied. Here, have this small life and be content. Women, I have something to say to us today: Eat. Eat and suck the marrow out of life. Eat and taste every single flavor in this kaldeiscopic world. Eat and enjoy eating. Then get curious and eat some more. This is for you women who wonder why you can’t just feel satisfied with what you have. The women who are certain everyone else already is. The women who lay awake at night and wonder when the dullness took over. The women who long. The women who hunger. The women who are not content. Our hunger is not something to be ashamed of; our hunger is our sacred gift. Let’s feast.
When my six-year-old’s beloved beta fish died he asked, “Can we bury him by Mama Mary?” meaning the little garden statue in the backyard flower bed. “A thousand times yes”, I answered. We dug the tiniest hole near her feet, where her mantle could almost stretch out over him, where she could safeguard his little beta fish soul with all the love and light she possessed. In his time of need, my son longed for the comfort of a heavenly Mother. When the thing he loved most passed into the realm of we-know-not-what, a little boy was consoled by the idea that a mama would be near to nurture and protect it. How much we miss when we fail to imagine the Sacred as anything other than male. How much we stand to gain by reimagining.
Happy Juneteenth to all my Black friends especially, but also to *all* of us because, as Lilla Watson said, our liberation is bound up with each other’s. Yesterday I found out that what we’ve seen in these weeks has been the largest Civil Rights Movement in history, with demonstrations in all 50 states. Wow. When I look back on this summer in 40 years I want to be proud of my part in it. I’m sad that for a variety of reasons I haven’t been able to attend a demonstration, but I also realize there are actions that are equally important if not more so. So I’ve been giving financially, seeking out education, and trying to point to Black voices. But above all else, I’ve been listening. Listening is not always simple. Black people are not a monolith and there will be a variety of opinions and experiences, as there are within any demographic. There are some who deny that racism is a problem, that police brutality is disproportionate against Blacks, or that the school-to-prison pipeline exists. I can respect the perspective of all people and recognize their right to speak their own truth while also deciding I’m going to choose to listen to the overwhelming majority in the Black community on this (who incidentally are also backed by data and research). Listen, there were women who were against the women’s suffrage movement. There were slaves who were against abolition. Humans are complex and there are a lot of variables that factor into how we see and engage social issues. I’ve decided to believe the majority who say they are hurting—and have been hurting for a long, long time. When I consider the ideology in which I hope my life to be lived, this is the choice that feels consistent. I think we have a filthy, rotten system (as Dorothy Day said) and I will always choose to believe those who say they have been pained by it. That’s a choice each of us have to make for ourselves. 🖤
Stopped mid-facewash to call the Louisville AG about the need for charges in #breonnataylor ‘s murder when I realized it might be the only time today I’m not surrounded by my five kids. If I can do it, you probably can too. The number is 502-696-5300. Breonna’s life mattered.
I wonder what our children will remember of these times, how they’ll make sense of it all when they’re 38 and no longer 8. I wonder how we’ll have to encase the memories on behalf of our very littlest ones, the ones who are living through what they will never be able to recall; how in 10 or 20 years we’ll paint them pictures of weeks upon weeks of not leaving the house, of the confusion on their pudgy faces when we slipped masks like bandits over our own, how they fingered the happy tears on our cheeks as we watched footage of protestors in streets, how they first heard the word “teargas” and understood it was pain that twitched our mouths when we whispered it to each other. I wonder if we’ll be able to tell them that we truly saw her then: this world that pulses with God-breath, this world that can’t always breathe it. That we saw it all and we didn’t look away. I wonder if we’ll be able to tell them that for a moment in time we saw the world in all her wounded beauty, and that we loved her—we loved her fiercely. (h/t to Ntozake Shange’s work, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide... in which she writes, “i found god in myself & i loved her / i loved her fiercely”)
Long before I even realized I was on a journey to learn to trust myself, Black women have been teaching me how it’s done. Blessed be the guides. 🌙 Art by @tmurrellart
We are Catholics, and Catholics of Color, who are exhausted by the continued systemic, institutional, and implicit racism in the United States and at times in our Catholic Church and the effects on the targets of it. We are broken-hearted for our Black brothers and sisters who for years have been ignored, dismissed, and marginalized by our Country. We pray for justice for the victims of racism in all its forms, but especially, lethal, and their families and communities. We stand in solidarity with them as Catholic Christians and as Brothers and Sisters in Christ. We believe in the Catholic Church, founded by Christ, and sustained by the Eucharist. We are one body in Christ and therefore we have a responsibility to fight against the demonic force of racism. As such, we invite you to join us in observing a nineteen-day period of prayer and fasting as an act of reparation to God for the sin of racism in all of its forms. From the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, on June 1 through June 19, Juneteenth Day and the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we will pray the Prayer to St. Michael for his protection from spiritual attack, and/ or join our Lady of Sorrows in praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, and will make daily sacrifices appropriate to our own circumstances for this intention. This call to action is based on the words of Joel 2:12-13: “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Believing in the longstanding Catholic concept of making Acts of Reparation, my friends @kariannafrey and @leticiaoadams have written this statement. You can share your own words and/or images using the hashtag #rendyourhearts. You can also participate privately if you prefer.
I believe in collective consciousness, and I believe we are seeing it evolve before our eyes — and have been, for the past 10 years — regarding several civil rights issues but perhaps especially racial disparities. We are seeing the growing pains of humanity as “the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice”(MLK): the awakening, the demand, the chaos, the rage, the division, the noise. I believe we are inching towards wholeness, but it is an ugly, messy, brutal sob of a process to get us there. I know for me personally, I have straight up been taken to school on the Black experience in the past decade. And even still I continue to be taught by Black leaders, and imagine I will be for the rest of my life. We all start somewhere and there is no shame in wherever you are starting, as long as you are sincere, listening, and teachable. Having said that, there is a problematic pattern that I’m noticing of people, leaders, and entire institutions publicly condemning “racism” and leaving it at that. The thing is, that’s not exactly groundbreaking or even noteworthy. The officer who killed George Floyd might have said the same thing. The call, then, is to go beyond merely disavowing racism in theory and begin to dig into the troubling realities of trickier components like racial bias and systematic racism. THIS is where the true work begins. Anyone can write a post saying racism is wrong or that all races bear the image of God. If you’ve done so, awesome. I’m not shaming you. I’m calling all of us to not stop there, because that is not a stopping point that will ever elicit real change. Let’s keep learning, keep being open to correction, keep listening. Because Black Lives Matter. And we are losing them. (I’m turning off comments for this post because I am a mom of a Black boy entering pre-adolescence and my heart is tender right now. Thoughtfulness is always welcome in my DMs, but please take arguments somewhere else. ❤️)