To be a spiritual mother is profound… it can encompass our whole being when we sense our spiritual children are longing for the “milk of comfort (Is 66:10).”
It can be one of the deepest experiences of intercessory prayer (that could seem a scandal to many I’m sure).
Just as in the natural realm a nursing mother’s breasts can swell with longing to nourish the one in need, so also can be the case in a transcending way as a spiritual mother nourishes her spiritual children with the “milk of comfort” — the nurturing, bonding love of God; especially brought to us through our Heavenly Mother… she who is the ultimate nurturer of all of humanity, in drawing us to the love of God.
Many may not understand this sharing in its purity because we live in such an over-sexualized, lust-ridden culture; but were one to transcend all fleshly interpretations of such a sharing, they would see that we as the people of God are called to something so profound and all transcending, that draws us deeply into the womb of the all nourishing and embracing love of God. And, this, a love so intimate that it touches the deepest fibers of who we are as His children, loved by Him in a way that words could never accurately express.
MARY NURSES JESUS/US
I can especially experience this longing to nourish humanity when I become one with Mary at the Birth of Jesus, as she nurses Christ, and spiritually draws all of humanity into this stance of “suck[ing] fully of the milk of comfort” (Is 66:10).
“Be as eager for the spirit as new born children for milk,” St. Peter tells us (2Pet 2). But do we really allow ourselves to go there with God? To invite His love to penetrate the deepest core of our aches and longings… or do we allow other things of this world to take the place.
I can especially experience the desire to nourish my spiritual children in the mystery of the decent of the Holy Spirit, where the Spirit of God, the “milk of His comfort”, is flowing in a profound way to His people.
I can especially experience a longing for humanity to be nourished (or “sated” as JPII says) by the Eucharistic love of Jesus, especially expressed at the last Supper, and prefigured at the Wedding Feast of Cana; when He gives Himself totally to us, inviting us to literally take Him into us as He penetrates the deepest core of our being if we allow Him.
This mystery can be espousal as we receive Jesus into us as Divine Bridegroom; but it can also by nurturing and nourishing when we become as a nursing child: with the analogy of the Father as the breast, our Eucharistic Lord as the nipple we receive into our mouths, and the Holy Spirit as the milk of grace and comfort flowing into us through our communion.
BLOOD AND WATER FLOW
I especially experience a longing for humanity to be “sated” at Calvary where the Sacred Heart of Jesus is pierced by a sword and blood and water flow out to bring nourishing life and love to all of humanity… That we might drink ravenously from His side, receiving the graces of the living waters of Baptism and the New Wine of His espousal, Eucharistic love deeply into us, as would a nursing child for its mother’s milk.
St. Catherine of Sienna had such an experience of Christ when she was living only on the Eucharist, as she would so long to receive Him in Holy communion that she would nurse from the wound in His side. She would seek to “get drunk on the blood of Christ crucified” (Raymond, Life, 135-136).
Following are more quotes on Catherine’s ravenous love for our Eucharistic Bridegroom.
“Given Catherine’s strong concern for unity, it is not surprising that communion or receiving the body of Christ was central to her spirituality.” 1 Shawn Madigan, C.S.J., ed., Mystics, Visionaries & Prophets: A Historical Anthology of Women’s SpiritualWritings (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998), 211.
God says in Catherine’s Dialogue, “You could not be given the body without being given the blood as well; nor either the body or the blood without the soul of this Word; nor the soul or body without the divinity of me, God eternal” (D 110, 206-207).
Catherine in a letter says, “So run! And let all true faithful Christians run to this blood, attracted by its fragrance. Then we will get really drunk on this blood, afire and consumed in gentle charity, made one with him. We will be like a heavy drinker, who thinks not of herself but only of the wine she has drunk and of what she still has left to drink. Get drunk on the blood of Christ crucified! Don’t let yourself die of thirst when you have it right there before you! And don’t take just a little, but enough to make you so drunk that you will lose yourself” (Catherine to Regina della Scala, between Advent of 1375 and early 1376, Letters, T29, vol. 1, 204.
Catherine’s spiritual director says, “One day during Mass, Catherine was weeping so loudly (in ecstasy) that the priest told her to move away from the altar because she was so distracting. While she remained there, a long way from the altar, thirsting for the adorable Sacrament, saying in a low voice, but loud in spirit: ‘I want the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ,’ lo, as so often happened, the Lord Himself appeared to her, determined to satisfy her, and, drawing her mouth towards the wound in His side, made a sign to her to sate herself to her heart’s content on His body and blood. She did not need to be invited twice, and drank long from the rivers of life at their source in the holy side; and such sweetness ascended into her soul that she thought she must die of love” (Raymond, Life, 149).
“The image of the nursing Christ is one of her favorite metaphors and is closely associated with the Eucharist. … Catherine herself stresses service, drinking of pain as well as comfort, and the active seeking of breast (Christ) by the infant (soul)” (Bynum, Holy Feast, 173).
“Whenever Catherine speaks of drinking from the side of Christ, from his heart, there is a clear assumption of willingness to let go of all selfish love. … Charity is the mother at whose breast the soul drinks in the milk of divine goodness that makes everything bitter become sweet” (Noffke, Vision, 28).
“The redeeming Jesus is for Catherine also our mother, our wet-nurse. The blood that flows from his breast is the milk of charity, the fire of the Spirit” (Noffke, “Physical in the Mystical,” 123).
+May it be so oh Lord! May You be consoled in the Garden of Gethsemane as your Divine Love is deeply received and loved in return.+
+Lord, I long to be a nourishing spiritual mother to all of humanity! May I decrease, that the nourishing love of your Spirit may flow through me to all of your children. May I keep nothing for myself but be a “living sacrifice” of love and total self-gift to all of your children.
+Mother, take over! Possess me and draw me deeply into your disposition of nourishing love for all of humanity, after first being a ravenous child in your arms, in search of the “milk of comfort” myself.+