Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Guest Post-Vocation of Mothers

A couple of months ago, my little sister wrote a short post for my other blog on the vocation of motherhood. Of course she, Agnes Penny, is also the author of two of the books on my sidebar (Your Labor of Love & Your Vocation of Love-both from TAN Books). More people read what I post here than there. So I thought I would reprise her post here. It may be of interest and also may serve as a plug to buy one or both of her books: for yourself if you are a mother, or for someone you know who is or will be shortly. I haven't read the books entirely myself, only a little as a matter of brotherly interest, but you can get a taste from her comments below.

It’s hard to think of our life’s work as a vocation from God when our days are as hectic and busy as most mothers’ are. Consumed with changing diapers, scrubbing dishes and getting the children to pick up all the tiny scraps of paper that clutter the floor after a morning of making paper snowflakes, our spiritual lives can all too easily be neglected.

And yet, as mothers, we have a unique opportunity to grow in holiness and to lead others to sanctity as well. We learn patience and perseverance by gently, consistently and firmly teaching and disciplining our children. We learn humility by experiencing our every fault being observed, commented on, and even imitated by our ever-attentive children who absorb, indiscriminately, everything we do. We learn unselfishness by giving ourselves – even our very bodies during times of pregnancy and breastfeeding – and all our time and energy in nurturing and providing for the all the needs of the innocent darlings with whom God has blessed us. We are on-call 24 hours a day, losing sleep, eating interrupted meals, and serving others even when we ourselves feel sick. Truly, we mothers, among all people, have a unique chance to learn to suffer and to love as Christ Himself loves us.

But that is not all. In nurturing the spiritual lives of our children, we mothers can find an even greater opportunity to grow in holiness ourselves. After all, we want our children to be saints – but how can we teach them to be saints unless we become saints first? We cannot give them what we do not have. Therefore, as we try to explain the wonder of Christmas, the solemnity of Lent, and the miracle of Easter, we must first develop a true appreciation for these liturgical seasons ourselves. We must foster a devotion to Our Lady, the angels and the saints in ourselves if we desire to pass this devotion on to our children. Lastly, we must cultivate a real yearning for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist if we hope to prepare our children to long to receive Him as well.

Being a mother in today’s world is not easy. But then, becoming a saint has never been easy. Yet we, as mothers, whose very vocation is so wrapped up in loving and serving others, have an unparalleled chance to become holy and to help others to become holy as well. Let us pray to Our Lady, the Mother of mothers, that we may take full advantage of this glorious opportunity to become, and to form, saints!

Agnes just had her 5th child this month. If you decide to buy her book(s), she will get more $$ if you buy directly from TAN (I will get nothing). I will get a little and she will get a little more if you buy from one of the Amazon links on the sidebar. (BTW, I think any book you buy from Amazon when you go through one of the sidebar links to get it, benefits the shallow Curley coffers.)

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