because, well, mary is my spiritual mother.
but so is priscilla. and so are the other marys, and martha, and so are lydia and tryphena and tryphosa and that woman whom Jesus healed, the one who dropped her pennies in the offering bucket, the girl Jesus raised from the dead.
so are deborah and miriam and ruth and rachel and sarah, and abigail and the zaraphethian widow and esther.
so is monica, who birthed augustine; so is bridgett, who birthed ireland; so are all those nuns and laywomen who served the church whose names we don’t know, and all the women whose names we know that are too countless to name here.
so are kate von bora and mother teresa; so are marva dawn and lauren winner and annie dillard and madeleine l’engle.
so are lisa and pam and deedee, who taught me passion; so are denise and karen and ashley and sarah, who taught me hospitality; so are kacy and ashley and the sarahs and erica and lulu, who taught me how to love people with grace; so are steph and hannah and heidi and the women of ruf, who carried me and whom i have had the privilege to carry; so is my adoptive mother, in the next room, who taught me to love God and how to forgive.
she who will not have the Church as her mother, after all, cannot have God as her Father.
[*i can think of a whole host of other reasons, too, but they’re less poetic, haha.]