Wednesday, June 13, 2007giving without reserve
As Catholics faithful to the Magesterium we probably pride ourselves on fully embracing the Church's teachings on human sexuality. We are blessed with the knowledge of how important and sacred and meaningful it is to give ourselves completely to our spouses... to withold no life-giving love by way of contraception. I wonder sometimes at how easy it is to isolate this teaching solely into the realm of sexuality. In truth, no Catholic teachings exist in a vacuum; all are part and parcel of a holistic understanding of our relationship with our Creator and the role of Faith in this life. Still, fallen as we are, it is so common to not think all the way through some Church teachings in order to see the greater Truth trying to surface in our secular-infected spirituality.
Are we just called to give ourselves completely to our spouses in marital relations? Not by a long shot. We are called to give ourselves completely in EVERY area of our life... in the example of our Savior. I heard a wise priest say something profound during a wedding homily a few weeks ago: Marriage isn't about the "50/50" compromise we hear about so often. It is 100/100.
And not just marriage, but how are we witholding in other areas of our lives? (If the metaphor wasn't so slimy, I'd say "How are you contracepting in other areas?") How about motherhood? God knows I am weak. What does it mean when I am distracted and annoyed and don't feel like I got anything 'done' or any 'me time' in my day, because I was fighting off children all day long. Heaven forgive me! Divine Mercy infuse me! Help me to see my purpose! Help me to die to self! To have a life-giving love in EVERY area of my life!
The long and short of the matter is that God called us to be wives and mothers. This IS HIS WILL. This is where HE wants us to put all of our efforts into glorifying HIM. His most Sacred Heart aches over lukewarm souls most of all. Oh Jesus, what pain I've caused Thee!
If I wake up and simply live with my children, work with my children, play with my children, be in the present with my children... this is all that I need to do. Errands come second. Computer comes second. Chatty phone calls come second. Scrubbing toilets comes second. You get the point. If we started viewing our days as simply moments to give ourselves to our children, I suspect that things would run much smoother. I'm not saying easier... because it's a thorn-filled road no doubt, but our mindsets would be properly disposed. We wouldn't be so prone to haste or anger or frustration when "they" interrupt us. If they are happily playing and are in no need of immediate attention (in fact, private play time is important I think; there is no need to hover)... take a moment to wipe down the counters, make a quick phone call, write a blog entry, process a load of laundry. But always remember what your day is about: loving and living with your children. It's easy to love kids. But sometimes it seems like parents fall into living THEIR OWN lives with their kids simply tagging along as accesories or annoyances.
It's not your life anymore. God is asking more of us. To give all the way. To be saints. Pick up the cross and find holiness the hard way. Indeed, there is no easy way... at least our hard way is littered with beautiful moments of consolation and joy... found in an early morning smile or an unsolicited hug or a hand-picked weed presented to you triumphantly. The Lord is kind in these moments of reprieve during our hard road. Find courage to stay the course.