Ora et Labora
This day, I set my feet on the path, with my face toward God. My God, My God…I seek You…amidst the pots and pans, meals to cook, floors to sweep and wash, sheets to change, noses to wipe, diapers to change, bills to pay, the same clothes to wash and fold and put away…day after day after day…so much the same. This day, I set my feet on the path….Oh God, My God….I seek You.
A word of encouragement to my soul, troubled at embracing the life of wife, mother and homemaker as God intended, seeing only the obstacles of drudgery and anonymity.
Consider, dear soul, the words of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. In his T.V. show, “life is worth living”, he said, “Each day is an addition”.
How can this be? Life in general and being a mom in particular involves so much of doing the same thing over and over again. The repetition is grueling. It seems more like a subtraction.
Although on the surface-these tasks seem identical and there seems to be no progress or benefit beyond the immediate task done, yet, I submit to you that all is not as it appears. “For between God and the individual soul, however, there are no insignificant moments; This is the Mystery of Divine Providence.” (He Leadeth Me pg 175)
In the light of the virtue of obedience and through the eyes of faith, these seemingly mundane and repetitive tasks take on a heavenly glow. Obedience brings grace from God. Through obedience, a person gains wisdom. Obedience to a person’s state in life is particularly pleasing to God. When a mom cleans the bathroom, irons the clothes and performs other tasks involved in caring for her husband and her family, she is acting in obedience to her state in life. Therefore, these tasks are opportunities for grace. With grace comes growth and peace and the strengthening of the will. It is in this way that each day and each task is truly an addition- an addition to your soul.
The change to your soul is hidden, requiring eyes of faith. St. Padre Pio wrote that “prayer causes improvement in the soul that is not perceptible.” The analogy he used was of a person on a ship, in a room on the ship without windows, and as you pray-your room appears the same yet you are moving and making progress toward God. The same is true of grace and its improvement of your soul. Whenever you wipe the table or perform any of the seemingly insignificant and repetitive tasks as a mom- your obedience pleases God and results in an increase of grace and the movement of your soul toward God, your final end.
Consider, dear soul, how encouraging it is to realize that each task, no matter how many times it has been done before, because it occurs at a different point in time , becomes a completely different and unique act. As such, it is capable of being offered up to God. The giving of gifts to God, to Thank Him for your life, your existence and your Faith; to Adore Him as your Supreme Good, To make reparation for your sins and in supplication for your needs- is the basis of your life of prayer. It is also the nature of a woman to give. How delightful then to have such a bountiful treasure of gifts to give.
Consider how frustrating and stressful it would be if God ordained that no two gifts could be alike. Say, once you offered up ironing, you could never offer it up again and had to come up with a completely new gift to give. It wouldn’t take too long before there was not anything left to give. Yet, the obligation to give (because we depend completely on God) would remain as well as the tasks that still had to be done.
Consider the hiddeness of these mundane tasks. On the surface they are a bitterness(to pride and self-love), yet they become sweet when one looks toward eternity.
Consider, dear soul, if the head of satan is crushed when we humbly adore Jesus, hidden under the appearance of bread, then all these little acts of humility, when united to Jesus, become powerful means of furthering the kingdom of God. All these little acts of humility set our feet on the path that Jesus took, as His whole life was a humiliation.
Adveniat Regnum Tuum
Consider, little one, that the kingdom of God comes through acts of faith, humility and love.
Dear soul, can you not see how cleaning the bathroom, sorting the laundry and turning dirty socks right side out, done in submission to your state in life (humility), done for love of God (charity), done with your eyes turned toward heaven (faith) become a most noble endeavor?
How Blessed are you wife, mother and homemaker! Be at Peace! Be filled with Joy!
Housework-an exercise I faith
Housework-an opportunity for grace
Housework- an encounter with God
Dear soul, can you not see that these tasks so repetitive and dull are sweetened by humility, kissed by God and filled with Grace-received from the hand of God by His Divine Providence?
Little one, consider the words of Fr. Ciszek: “The thought that actions otherwise worthless in themselves could be somehow redemptive, could serve the growth of His kingdom upon earth because they were undertaken in obedience to His will, and that such actions could even be the source of grace for others, could share in Christ’s work of meriting grace for all-that thought sustained me in joy and drove me on to work ever harder to achieve more perfect communion with God and His will. This simple truth, that the sole purpose of man’s life on earth is to do the will of God, …(that)once you have learned to live with it upper most in mind, to see each day and each day’s activities in its light, it becomes more than a source of eternal salvation; it becomes a source of joy(sweetness) and happiness here on earth. The notion that the human will, when united with the divine will, can play a part in Christ’s work of redeeming all mankind is over powering. The wonder of God’s grace transforming worthless human actions(cleaning the bathroom) into efficient means for spreading the kingdom of God here on earth astounds the mind and humbles it to the utmost, yet brings peace and joy unknown to those who have never experienced it, unexplainable to those who will not believe.” (He Leadeth Me pg.117)
So, dear soul, put on the apron of humility. Set your feet on the path that God has set for you as wife, mother and homemaker. Glorify God!
With a kiss, I put on my apron. Thank you, God for the gift of being a wife, mother and homemaker. Bless the work I am about to do. May it be for the praise and glory of your Name – Thy Kingdom come. Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I unite all these tasks to you, dear Jesus, and to all those tasks that You, yourself performed during your hidden life. Amen.
Oh God, My God, I have found You. A Te Numquam separari permittas!
A Woman’s Place is in the home not because she isn’t good enough for the world but because she is too good for it. A woman’s precious gifts are squandered when she gives herself to the making of a dollar rather than a home. The world, its corporations, bureaucracies, and agencies are profane entities that are unworthy of a woman’s devotion and are unable to value the feminine charism. These profane entities coarsen, poison, and suck dry the maternal heart.
Three Marks of Manhood