In many ways, our place names, where we are from, like chit-chat conversation, can be mostly superficial, casual, and even accidental. But there are at least two additional and more profound answers to the question “where are you from?” One is that we are all, without exception, “from” our mother’s body, and this unites us in a common humanity regardless of other differences. In this respect, we are one with the whole of human history, past, present, and future. We are here not of our own choosing and not of our own self-help, but because someone else carried us, took care of us, and brought us to light and life. This is a mystery of our human condition that goes beyond the simple acknowledgment that we are all “born of woman.”
One major step beyond that awareness, and one that only faith makes, is that we come “from” God the creator of heaven and earth. Beyond our common humanity, faith affirms that we come from God and, ultimately, return to God. As we are dependent for our birth on the mother that bore us, we are in the position of “absolute dependence” for our existence, the world in which we live, and the divine destiny in store for us. . . .
—Hugh T. Kerr