Remembering St Angela Merici. And “Because of Winn Dixie.”
St Angela, a Third Order Franciscan, founder of the Ursulines, a strong believer in the value of education. Especially in the education of girls.
The saint believed that problems in the family, disruption in the family unit, led to problems in society. And thus, St Angela wrote, the role of the Christian mother is of great importance. Educate young girls, possible future mothers, and you educate families and society.
St Angela went so far as to say that there was a lack of Christian mothers, dedicated to their vocation.
Sharing this information with my sons, on the feast day of St Angela Merici, I was inspired to look at my life, at my own vocation , my own mothering.
And the words of St John Bosco came to my mind. Love what they, the children love, and they will come to love what you love… Our Lord, the Church, the Faith.
With this is the realism of life with teens and young adults , a tumult of arranging appointments and work and mass and study and housework and friends and technology and family time and living the liturgical year and rituals and rhythms and plan B and O and Z.
The realism of failings and imperfections, especially my imperfections and failings.
But I come back to St John Bosco’s emphasis on love. To love my vocation and to love my family. As much as I, with my logic, can love. That imperfect love.
And so I think of the movie and book Because of Winn Dixie, and of little Opal learning to love . And to let go.
Because that is part of mothering. Loving. And letting go.
Gloria: Listen… Opal… you cannot hold onto anything that wants to go. Do you understand what I’m sayin’? You just got to love it while you got it, and that’s that.