“A mother journeys with her children all the way through their lives. She does not abandon her maternal mission when they are grown, though that mission certainly takes on different characteristics. The Church, too, accompanies us every step of the way. While baptism gives us birth into the Church, the other sacraments in their own way also nurture our souls as needed.”
Gina Loehr continues by explaining how our Mother, the Church, “mothers” us through all of the Holy Sacraments and then reminds us: “We don’t do anything to earn all of this. A mother’s love for her children is not conditional. The Church offers the sacraments of initiation and healing to anyone who sincerely wants to receive them. We have access to this new life simply by asking for it. It’s important to note, however, that maternal concern of the Church is not only for those who ask for baptism. I care for my family (she is a wife and the mother of six children!) in a particular way, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about anyone else. The Church also includes in her mission all people, whether or not they are believers.”
Gina explains that “Of course the Church hopes to bless all people through baptism, but the unbaptized are still under the care of Mother Church. She wants what is best for all of humanity, for every man, woman, and child brought into physical existence through the power of God. This is why the Church seeks not only to protect spiritual life through her efforts of evangelization and baptism but also to protect physical life. She defends the dignity of every human person by advocating for the right to life and fighting against any ideologies or programs that would threaten that right.”
The Church Is Our Mother: Seven Ways She Inspires Us to Lovecarries us through many of a woman’s charisms: to create, care, teach, accept, sacrifice, heal and celebrate! Gina relays personal stories from her life and the lives of other women to explain a mother’s role and then parallels that with the role of Mother Church.
This is a delightful, heart-warming book, not meant exclusively for mothers of children, but for all women who have the heart of a mother deep inside of them or for any woman (or man) who has a mother! It is also meant for those who have had awkward relationships with their mothers. Gina’s solution- turn to Mary.
A final chapter is included on the Mother of all Mothers- Our Blessed Mother Mary! Gina relates the maternal love and care of Our Blessed Mother to us as Mother of God, Daughter of Thy Son, The New Eve, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Undoer of Knots, Star of the Sea, and Mother of the Church.
So, we end where we began. “Mother Church is eager to bear new children, to love them and nurture them throughout their lives, and to protect their God-given dignity. Because Christ died and rose to assure our salvation, his bride, the Church, wants nothing more than to take full advantage of what the Bridegroom won for us. She wants to lavish graces upon us, to welcome us into her embrace, and to see us flourish in every possible way.” What a Mother!