Unconditional and Infinite Love — By Anita Bruzzese

anita mug 1 webWhen we think of mothers, we often think of unconditional love.

Your mother loves you when you spill grape Kool-Aid on her new couch. Your mother loves you when you get caught skipping school. You mother loves you when you put a dent in the car. No matter what, your mother is your greatest champion, the one who prays for you every day and the one who never gives up on you.

But if that’s what makes someone a mother — unconditional and infinite love — then you might want to expand your thinking about when and where you experience a mother’s kind of love. Certainly, there are childhood memories of the woman who provided comfort for skinned knees and hurt feelings. Later in life, she may have shored you up when you felt the world was against you, who tried her best to smooth your path so that peace filled your heart.

Still, isn’t that a sort of pure love that can be found in many places and with many people? Yes, a mother is the woman who gave birth to you or the woman who raised you — but sometimes the mother connection is more.

Take, for example, this faith community. It opens its arms and offers that same unconditional love as a mother to a child. This community offers love that is patient, kind, forgiving and open. It is there to support you during tough times; it is there to cheer you on when you need and it is there to offer a bond that will last a lifetime.

One well-known passage about love is often used at weddings:

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Could mothers – or this community – also be examples of this high calling of love?

In “For One More Day,” author Mitch Albom writes: “I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”

My own mother died 18 years ago, and I can remember one of the first things I did when she passed was offer her a prayer of thanksgiving. I was grateful that she taught me how to make gravy, do crossword puzzles and to stand up for myself. I was grateful for her love, her support and her lessons on faith. I still miss her, but I feel so blessed for having her as my mom.

Even though I’ve lost the woman who gave birth to me, I feel her presence every day — and most strongly when I attend Mass. I believe it is not only the love of God that I find at the Newman Center, but the fellowship of a community that reminds me strongly of a mother’s unconditional love.

So, when I celebrate this mother’s day with my own children and when I think of my own mother, I will also be celebrating this community that has sustained and guided me through the toughest of times — and celebrated some of my life’s greatest joys. That infinite love, I believe, it what we all need to remember and celebrate this Mother’s Day.