January 31st 2016
Today I looked up the definition of magnanimous
generous or forgiving, especially towards a rival or less powerful person.
synonyms: generous, charitable, benevolent, beneficent, open-handed, big-hearted, great-hearted, munificent, bountiful, liberal, handsome, princely, altruistic, kind, kindly, philanthropic, chivalrous, noble; More
antonyms: mean-spirited, selfish
mid 16th century: from Latin magnanimus (from magnus ‘great’ + animus ‘soul’) + -ous.
Papa used the word magnanimous this week when referring to The Year of Mercy in the Church. This was in the same breath as I received a letter from the chancellor of the diocese in response to my letter to the bishop ~ not addressing the issues raised in my letter, just asking me to confirm that I want to exit from Full Communion with Rome, and asking me if I fully understand the implications. Of course I don’t, because no one has spoken to me about it! But they stated quite clearly that they will not let my children exit until age 14 when they can give their own consent.
my response …
‘Please release my children too; as a mother I cannot be spiritually separated from my children. I don’t expect you to understand the spiritual umbilical between a mother and her child, but it is all powerful ~ and was enough to make me choose to be united with my children in God, over that of being united with my husband in marriage.
The Catholic Church gave me an impossible choice ~ one which I have paid for with my life. I now want to follow my vocation by being a fully included and accepted member of my diocese ~ if that is not possible within the Catholic Diocese of Brentwood then I believe it is only fair that you should allow me and my children to move closer to God together, beyond the Catholic Church.’
So many tears this week. So many reasons to learn to be magnanimous. Some things I struggle to be magnanimous with. This week a photo surfaced on line of a Jewish Mother and her child (a little girl about Eliza’s age) ~ stripped naked clinging to each other in a Loving embrace ~ upon a sea of dead bodies ~ about to be murdered in cold blood.
Their bodies embrace making the sign of the Cross.
I hate this cruel ~ cold ~ despairing world at times. How can we ever forgive this!
I have cried, and cried, and cried over this image. It struck so deeply, in a week where I was already hurting so deeply ~ the bond of mother and child echoed upon All Crosses. The minute we are blessed in birth we are burdened in death.
I hold my own child this way, skin to skin. The Love I feel for them is the same Love.
Because of its profound impact on me, I printed off this image to take to my Spiritual Direction session ~ and just by chance when I got to Mass at St Francis Church in Halstead, the priest just happened to ask if anybody would like to offer up the Mass for anyone. This has never once happened before (especially on the day) in all my years of attending morning Mass. And so I quickly took the photo out of my bag ~ and I asked if Mass might be offered up for this Jewish Mummy and her child.
When The Way of Love Blessed Sacrament Chapel is opened ~ it will be dedicated to the mother and daughter in this photo.
May God have Mercy †