Being the Jewish mother of a catechuminate


So no one asks me ‘what do you think……?’. My son the catechuminate….a word that I have likely shamefully misspelled. I have never really thought that much about defining him as such- he is most uncomplicatedly my son. However he chooses to present himself to others, or explain himself to the world around him, he will remain my son. What does a Jewish mother want most for her son? Contrary to what many may believe, not a Nobel prize. Nor multiple degrees. Just (as Solomon would say) “a good name”- or to put it another way, integrity. I want to see him make wise decisions, walk in the strength of those decisions, and deal with the challenges of life. I do not want him to cower in fear (as I did for so many years)- unwilling to wrestle with difficult relationships. I want to see him embrace the mantle of responsibility that we are all given, without excuse, shirking or shrinking away from the demands that it may require. I want to see his wife and children gaze up admiringly into his face, knowing that the leadership he provides for them is trustworthy, and that the example he sets for them is beyond reproach. I want only that he should be well, in body, soul, and spirit. He should prosper as his soul prospers. If being a catechuminate produces such fruit in him, then I will rejoice. Yet, frail human that I am, the insecurity of not knowing what lies ahead, of seeing “only in part”, and struggling with so much that has gone before…impediments to faith, erosions of trust…I am left with tattered threads of prayer hanging loosely over an embryonic hope that Love will remain the changeless foundation of this new doctrinal home.

2 comments

  1. chris · February 5, 2007

    Dear friend (and mother to my dear friend),The following is written with the humility of a mom who has similar hopes, dreams and insecurities for her own first born. (I may not have walked a mile in your sandals, but I think we shop at the same shoe store!): Read your son’s blog entry from yesterday. While we all share the insecurities of humanity, it is clear that he is choosing to abide in the Vine Josie. The fruit of this process will indeed come – the blossoms are there already! And the rough prunings of the past serve to make the vine hardier to survive the storms and more accessible to those who will come to enjoy the fruits.Don’t be afraid to rejoice. You have offered your son to God, He has offered himself (his vocation, his marriage/future family, his community of faith) …God will be pleased with the work of His own hands!Love ChrisP.S. I’ll bet right now you’re probably nodding with your head down and to the side a little…kind of agreeing but not sure you can believe it… Believe it Josie. Kids are a leap of faith from day 1. God’s way of reminding us that we are in control of absolutely nothing and yet still He will give us the opportunity to be a powerful instrument in their lives. You have loved and do love ABUNDANTLY. Now, its time – you can take the steps of faith and trust…held together by the precious strands (“tattered threads”) of prayer…

  2. nehamashira · February 5, 2007

    As always, you are so wise. Forgive my ramblings- I tend to muse out loud, thinking that no one will really read what I am writing. I don’t know if I will ever not be afraid- it is like telling my stomach not to hurt, only to have it ignore the command. I know the whole bit about “faith, fact, feeling”..but I wonder sometimes if faith is not the absense of doubt or fear, but the willingness to press on in the face of it. I don’t think it will ever go away. I can only keep walking into the wind.

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