Sed et tu, Iesu, bone Domine, nonne et tu mater? annon es mater, qui tamquam gallina congregat sub alas pullos suos? vere, Domine, et tu mater. nam quod alii parturierunt et pepererunt, a te acceperunt. tu prius propter illos, et quos pepererunt, parturiendo mortuus es, et moriendo peperisti. nam nisi parturiisses, mortuus non esses; et nisi mortuus esses, non peperisses. desiderio enim gignendi filios ad vitam, mortem gustasti, et moriens genuisti. tu per te, illi iussi et adiuti a te. tu ut auctor, illi ut ministri. ergo tu, Domine Deus, magis mater. ambo ergo matres. nam etsi patres, tamen et matres. vos enim effecistis, tu per te, tu per illum, ut nati ad mortem renasceremur ad vitam. patres igitur estis per effectum, matres per affectum; patres per auctoritatem, matres per benignitatem; patres per tuitionem, matres per miserationem. ergo et tu mater, et tu mater: etsi quantitate affectus impares; in qualitate tamen non dissimiles. quamvis magnitudine benignitatis non coaequantes; voluntate tamen concordantes: licet plenitudine miserationis non convenientes; intentione tamen non disconvenientes.
(Anselm of Canterbury, Oratio 10 ad Sanctum Paulum)
And you, Jesus, are you not also a mother?
Are you not the mother who, like a hen,
gathers her chickens under her wings?
Truly, Lord, you are a mother;
for both they who are in labour
and they who are brought forth
are accepted by you.
You have died more than they, that they may labour to bear.
It is by your death that they have been born,
for if you had not been in labour,
you could not have borne death;
and if you had not died, you would not have brought forth.
For, longing to bear sons into life,
you tasted of death,
and by dying you begot them.
You did this in your own self,
your servants, by your commands and help.
You as the author, they as the ministers.
So you, Lord God, are the great mother.
Then both of you are mothers.
Even if you are fathers, you are also mothers.
For you have brought it about that those born to death
should be reborn to life –
you by your own act, you by his power.
Therefore you are fathers by your effect
and mothers by your affection.
Fathers by your authority, mothers by your kindness.
Fathers by your teaching, mothers by your mercy.
Then you, Lord, are a mother
and you, Paul, are a mother too.
If in quantity of affection you are unequal,
yet in quality you are not unalike.
Though in the greatness of your kindness
you are not co-equal,
yet in will you are of one heart.
Although you have not equal fullness of mercy,
yet in intention you are not unequal.
(tr. Benedicta Ward)