I was reading the new Christian Carnival today (it's Wednesday so it must be Carnival Day!) and followed the wandering links into a comment string where someone was trying to make a negative comment by claiming that a certain Benedictine writer was the blogger's comadre. And it got me to thinking.
First of all, a compadre or comadre is a relationship term --- the parent of the person you sponsored in baptism, or the baptismal sponsor of your child, is your compadre or comadre. The two of you, or group of you, share a common care for another person.
I don't have any compadres or comadres according to this definition, and I'm not likely to --- I have no children, and my goddaughter is older than I am and her parents were long deceased by the time of her middle-age baptism.
But, aren't we all in a way co-parents? We each share in a true care for each other, there are no rugged individuals lone rangering, we support each other and care for each other and nurture each other to holiness. So, in a way the aforementioned Benedictine writer is my comadre, the founder of intentional community also mentioned in the comment is my compadre, and so are the people I go to Sunday Mass with, the ones I serve beside at the Open Door, my pastors, my bishops +Timothy and +Richard and +Rembert, and so many others. We have a common care for another, actually many others.
And the Works of Mercy, all 14 of them, is how we do it.