HAVE THE HEART OF A MOTHER
We know that while religions in general identify woman with the earth, the Bible identifies her more with life. The woman is the mother of all living beings, transmitting life. This is what it means ‘to have the heart of a mother’. At times, this brings with it suffering: the mother feels the injuries of her children. Claret when speaking of his maternal sentiment can do no more than to contemplate himself in the two maternal figures par excellence: Mary and the Church. These are the two figures that a priest, or whoever claims to announce the Good News, ought to imitate.
Speaking of the zeal of a priest in his Spiritual Notes (cf. AEC p.757) Claret enumerates the virtues of a mother for her child with great tenderness: she teaches him to speak, to walk, she educates him, she shapes his heart, she feeds, dresses, cleans and cares for her child; he draws attention and the love of a mother for her child, she doesn’t weary, is a martyr for the family; she carries him for nine months in her womb and after in her heart.
He finishes by saying: ‘A good priest should have all the properties of a mother. Ay for him who does not have them, that cannot be called mother, but stepmother, bad mother, bad priest!
Virtues that can be applied to whoever believes they have zeal for their neighbour. But there is something more and Claret discovers and practices it: a good mother knows how to listen to her child. This maternal trait, this contemplative admiration that Mary, for example, had for her Son should be a characteristic note of the maternity of the Church and also of us who are her children. Listen, hear, care, be in tune, share, sympathize, etc. are verbs that need to be conjugated more frequently in our Christian vocabulary.