Charity:: the essence of motherhood


This statuette stood out to me when we visited the Art Museum for Dan’s birthday. It was entitled, simply, “Charity”. It struck me especially because the example of Charity in this case was a mother with two small children, and I immediately felt empathy with the statue. Then I thought again about the whole idea of allure and how it actually relates to the character of Charity, in that both require true self sacrifice.


In other words, in order to be a queen, I must simply embrace what God has given me to do, with the Spirit of Christ ruling my actions.

In WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE WORLD, G.K. Chesterton paints a vivid picture of the importance of the mother’s role:

“Our old analogy of the fire remains the most workable one.
The fire need not blaze like electricity nor boil like boiling water;
its point is that it blazes more than water and warms more than light.
The wife is like the fire, or to put things in their proper proportion,
the fire is like the wife. Like the fire, the woman is expected
to cook: not to excel in cooking, but to cook; to cook better
than her husband who is earning the coke by lecturing on botany
or breaking stones. Like the fire, the woman is expected to tell
tales to the children, not original and artistic tales, but tales–
better tales than would probably be told by a first-class cook.
Like the fire, the woman is expected to illuminate and ventilate,
not by the most startling revelations or the wildest winds of thought,
but better than a man can do it after breaking stones or lecturing.
But she cannot be expected to endure anything like this universal
duty if she is also to endure the direct cruelty of competitive or
bureaucratic toil. Woman must be a cook, but not a competitive cook;
a school mistress, but not a competitive schoolmistress;
a house-decorator but not a competitive house-decorator; a dressmaker,
but not a competitive dressmaker. She should have not one trade but
twenty hobbies; she, unlike the man, may develop all her second bests.
This is what has been really aimed at from the first in what
is called the seclusion, or even the oppression, of women.
Women were not kept at home in order to keep them narrow;
on the contrary, they were kept at home in order to keep them broad.
The world outside the home was one mass of narrowness,
a maze of cramped paths, a madhouse of monomaniacs.
It was only by partly limiting and protecting the woman that she
was enabled to play at five or six professions and so come almost
as near to God as the child when he plays at a hundred trades.
But the woman’s professions, unlike the child’s, were all truly
and almost terribly fruitful;…

…it is not difficult to see… why the female became the emblem
of the universal and the male of the special and superior.
Two gigantic facts of nature fixed it thus: first, that the woman
who frequently fulfilled her functions literally could not be
specially prominent in experiment and adventure; and second,
that the same natural operation surrounded her with very young children,
who require to be taught not so much anything as everything.
Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world.
To put the matter shortly, woman is generally shut up in a house
with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions
that there are, and some that there aren’t. It would be odd
if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist.


Charity, as defined by Webster:

1. Love; universal benevolence; good will. 2: 4. Whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the needy or suffering for their relief; … any act of kindness.

With that, Happy Mother’s day! May you take joy in the sphere with which God has blessed you.



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