The care of God who is
mother and father
Faith is often sorely tested by the absurdity of certain situations, events that seem to prove the absence of God, or at least his lack of interest in what is happening in the world. The psalmists dare direct him almost blasphemous accusations: “Why have you forsaken me? I invoke you and you do not answer” (Ps 22:2). “How long, Lord, will you forget me?” (Ps 13:2).
It is what the mystics call the “dark night” in which all certainty and even hope falter. It is the case—and I quote one example among many—of Therese of Lisieux, who, at the end of her life, heard a mocking voice inwardly repeating: “You think you can get out of the clouds that surround you. No, death will not give you what you hope for, but an even darker night, the night of nothingness.”
What does God prove in the face of our anguish, doubts, torments? Is he sensitive to our pain?
God responds to these questions with a question: Can a mother forget her child? Then, like realizing that not even this comparison expresses his true love and his concern for man, God said: “Can a woman forget the baby at her breast? Yet though she forgets, I will never forget you.” (Is 49:15).
The maternal image is effective that is why it is resumed: “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” (Is 66:13). The promise of Sirach is touching: “Then you will be like a son of the Most High and he will love you more than your own mother” (Sir 4:10).
Hard to believe at times, but one day we will find that it was true.
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“I am calm and serene, like a weaned child in the arms of its mother.”