January 7, 2010

encouragement in motherhood

Whilst speaking with a group of more experienced Catholic moms I shared a small portion of my frustration with motherhood and how I need to be reminded in the goodness of this vocation.  They all smiled and nodded and laughed, not at all condescendingly, but as they remembered feeling exactly the same way.

Then one of them shared with me a thought that brought great peace, reassurance and encouragment to me:  to mother is to do the Works of Mercy every single day, over and over again.

Wow.  Thank God I heard that.

The works of mercy are the actions of saints.  And that's what I want to be - a saint.  Yet I had always figured becoming a saint had more to do with how I felt about what I was doing than what I was actually doing.  I always felt I was lacking in my mothering and therefore in the progression of my vocation (my path to holiness, to sainthood).  But with those words I saw that nothing was lacking.  God really hadn't given me more than I could handle; quite the opposite as He had given me everything I needed!

Already this has brought a change to my interactions with my children.  Changing their diapers, dressing them, playing with them, reading to them, feeding them, loving them - all of this has been easier to do and done more joyfully.

Praise God for all of this!

The corpral works of mercy
•To feed the hungry

•To give drink to the thirsty
•To clothe the naked
•To shelter the homeless
•To visit the sick
•To visit the imprisoned
•To bury the dead

The spiritual works of mercy
•To instruct the ignorant

•To counsel the doubtful
•To admonish sinners
•To bear wrongs patiently
•To forgive offences willingly
•To comfort the afflicted
•To pray for the living and the dead

Almighty God, I pray that you bless all those who read this post.  Help them, provide for them, bless them and show them Your love.  Amen.


  1. at a FOCUS conference once, I went to a talk by michaelann martin, and it was awesome, because she said exactly that about the works of mercy being an everyday occurance for mothers. she even gave examples, such as 'visiting the imprisoned' being freeing a child from their crib, which they consider to be a prison. :)

  2. I had the same thought, V, since the crib is where Lydia spends time out!

  3. Very interesting. I just wanted to point out that your blogs about your faith have really helped educate me. I grew up with a Mennonite church and am still pretty naive when it comes to other denominations. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the opportunity to read about what others do and believe; I feel it gives me a more "well-rounded" structure to my personal beliefs. :)

  4. Love this. I will be returning to it often

  5. Thank you for sharing this, Bonnie. I wrote down some of what you shared so that I can refer to it. I already have some snippets of I Cor 13 (the "love" chapter) hanging on my cupboards so I see it daily. I may end up adding this as well. May I remember that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.