When it comes to those things we hold most dear, emotions run deep and alliances are solid. Loyalty is sacred and crossing a line is deemed treasonous.
Some days I feel like the entire day is spent encouraging, lecturing, threatening, and punishing kids into applying the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…When you think about it, families can be composed of individuals who would never choose to live in the same hemisphere, much less in the same home!
Is suffering a messy canvas splattered with a mishmash of random paint splotches? Or is it a masterpiece of order and beauty, full of meaning and inspiration? It all depends on how you look at it.
In this, the month devoted to the Seven Sorrows of Mary, it seemed fitting to examine the sorrows inherent in motherhood. Let’s begin with a quote by Saint Pope John XXIII in his Journal of a Soul. It is a little long, but hang on – I think you’ll find his message to be profound: During this retreat, the Lord has been pleased to show me yet again all the importance for me, and for the success of my priestly ministry, of the spirit of sacrifice, which I desire shall from now on evermore inspire my conduct ‘as a servant…
To a mother, obedience has to be the most lovely concept in the world. You can have all the beautifully made breakfasts-in-bed, the meticulously prepared artwork that that says, “I love Mom,” in every conceivable medium from crayons to macaroni; you can have all the dedicated essays, all the sincere apologies offered after the fact; you can even have all the hugs and kisses (OK, maybe that’s taking it a little too far). But on any given day, show me six children (nix that – just show me three teenagers) who, when asked to do something – anything –…
Who among us had not endured pain so excruciating that at the time we could not even whisper our Lord’s name? It is in those moments that we most willingly lift our hearts to Him. When we can do nothing else, we offer whatever we have left. We surrender.
Some of us, maybe, are deterred from visiting our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament by a false conception of what a visit should be. We suppose that the occupations which fill our heads and our hands from morning till night must all be laid aside at the church door and sternly forbidden entrance, much in the same way as we bid our dog lie down in the porch and wait for us.
There will be no more visitors for Me today, none through the long hours of the night. Stay with Me because it is towards evening.
“Can you come after Me by taking up your cross daily— the cross I have laid upon you to liken you to Myself?”
This world is a battleground, and we, the Church Militant, are called to fight evil – whether on a societal level or in the deepest recesses of our own souls – that we might grow in union with God and join Him for all eternity in heaven.