Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mother of God Milk-Giver Continued

A PRIEST WRITING about the meaning of the icon of the Mother of God Milk~Giver reduces the icon to a kind of proof that the Incarnation (God become human in Jesus Christ) was physical. I imagine he wrote that as a kind of rebuttal to the many who don't believe in the Incarnation. That's okay, but I think there is much more we can say about the icon's meaning for all of us.

Of course, not everything found on the Internet is true. Just because someone puts something up on a screen (including priests) doesn't make it true. But it seems that mothers, midwives, nurses, scientists and care-providers have a great deal to say about the wondrous medical benefits of mother's breast milk. 

Here are just a few of the claims made about what some call Nature's Cure and Wonder-Milk. Breast milk can help to heal: rashes, yeast and ear infections, pink eye, acne, cuts, diaper rash, sunburn, dry skin, staph infections, pneumonia, poison sumac (oak and ivy), bites and burns. It has even been found to kill forty different kinds of cancer cells. It is used as an anti-infective, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory agent. My intention is not to make medical claims of any kind but to get our attention and point us in the direction of spiritual healing.

Now someone might say, "Oh, you mean it's all just symbolic." But that doesn't serve the icon well because symbolic doesn't mean something isn't real, symbolic means that something is most real. Let the icon inform your prayer: heaven is holding and feeding humankind in our most weak, sickly and confounded inner worlds. 

One blog for new mothers says, "Every Drop of Breastmilk is Medicine; Don't Waste It." So the question is, what ails me - relationally, spiritually, in my mind? Then come before the icon with a felt need for your own interior healing (not someone else's). Ask the Milk-Giver to be healed of: 

the poison of hate and non-compassion,
the infection of suspicious distinctions,
the rash of a stubborn and un-generous spirit,
the toxin of desiring, dissatisfaction and possessing,
the inflammation of resentment,
the infection of moodiness, touchiness and laziness,
the old psychic cuts and burns that I keep picking at,
the dis-ease of entertaining the non-reality of fanciful thinking,
  grumblings and ungrateful negativity,
and the denial that often accompanies illness.

End the prayer with delight as the Theotokos is dressed so beautifully, angels give her a crown, and the Child is as comfortable as a baby can be. And their matching halos!


  1. When a mother breastfeeds her child, she is not only giving this life sustaining nourishment, she is bonding with her baby, offering protection and a sense of security. The Blessed Mother does that for all of us. She feeds spiritually feeds us.

  2. These are real thoughts. I appreciate that you call us to open our minds.