Saturday, December 02, 2006

Identity and discernment

We are so many things. Women. Italian-Americans. Wives. Mothers. Friends. Writers. Cashiers. Bakers. Scrapbookers. Smokers. Shoppers. Runners. The list could be endless as you fill out the various things you do. But there are only two of those things on your list that are above all others, they go hand in hand: wives and mothers. These are divine vocations while the others are human chances or pursuits. When St. Maximilian Kolbe announced that he would take place of the man who was to be killed in a concentration camp, the German commander asked him who he was. His answer? "I am a Catholic priest." The other divine vocation. And apparently, in this saint's opinion... the only thing relevant to answer the question.

So often we try and discern God's will for who we are... what are we supposed to be doing in our lives. If you are a mother, there is no other answer than to simply mother your children. You are called to bear with them when they annoy you or wear you out. You are called to love them, to show interest in them and share your life and very being with them. To not only feed them and clothe them. But to hold them and to take sweet care of their spiritual upbringing for the entire duration of your lease... they do not belong to us after all. We are entrusted with them. And it's difficult! But oftentimes, the fact that it is hard and you are encountering obstacles is a sure sign that you are on the right path. What saint had an easy life?!

Being a wife and mother isn't just a part of life... it isn't a function. It is a calling, a redefinition of self, a way of life, a state of being, an identity, not just a role. Like priests, we die to our old selves and take up this lifelong commitment when we get married. We can not separate all the other things we ARE or DO from this bigger reality. Can you imagine a priest who happens to golf and not eat meat identify himself as a golfer or vegetarian? Not likely. If he's worth his salt, he'll identify himself primarily as a priest. It's who he is, not what he does.

In the same way, we are wives... some mothers. It is who we are, not what we do. Try to remember this reality when you start questioning what God wants of you. All He wants is for you to honor and support your husbands and love and nurture your children. Bottom line. See! Discernment 101 made easy...

-Ellie: in snowy Oak Harbor, WA


one of us :: 9:51 AM :: 1 Comments