“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping your heart intact, you must give your heart to no one…The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.” (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves).
This passage is like an arrow that goes right to the heart of motherhood. Miscarriage, death, wayward children, children who leave the Church, children who rebel, children who break the law, children who fight, children who don’t do what we think looks right, seems right, feels right, children who just don’t like us – this is inextricably bound up with our vocation. To love with the heart of a mother means to be vulnerable. As C.S. Lewis says, the only place safe from the pains of love are the fires of Hell.
The crux of the issue is that we are the only people on earth who make things with free will. Everyone else makes websites or graphic designs or laws or medicine or account ledgers or teaching curricula. . . none of which can turn and look at their maker with indignance. But we are at the top of the hierarchy, making something (cooperating with God, that is) so marvelous – human beings – that they have freedom! How lovely?
Well, how annoying.
May your mother’s heart find protection, consolation, and peace, knowing that your heartache – whatever the ache you have right now is a sign of love. As such, it is a jewel in your crown. Have faith that God’s Providence is sovereign, and that we can trust in his divine plan and magnificent love for us.