Patience and Humility is the book I am currently reading. I selected it from my mother’s extensive Catholic book shelf while I was home recently because, these are two of my biggest failings. In fact, I could scarcely believe it when I saw the title – it was a two in one deal, it was written for me, it was small! I hoped that this little white paperback would give me some fodder for prayer and thought. I am painfully aware that I need to 1) be humble enough to embrace fully my role as wife and mother and 2) be patient enough to raise my children with unconditional love and understanding.
Ok, it may have looked small but this puppy packs a punch. I read the first chapter without paying much attention to the author’s biography and all I could think was, “this guy speaks the truth and he does not mess around.” Turns out William Ullathorne was an early 19th century Benedictine missionary and now his amazing words are following me around my house day and night. Enough about him enough about me, I have to share this content with all you other wives and mothers who struggle with these virtues!
Essentially, Ullathorne describes every minute of every day as a struggle between doing what we selfishly desire and doing that which will bring us closer to God:
“There is no master so large-minded, so generous, or so well acquainted with you and your requirements as God; no father so loving and bountiful; no friend so free from all jealousy; none who so completely loves you for your greater good. While there is no tyrant so narrow-minded, so proudhearted, so exacting, so suspicious, so utterly bent on keeping you to your own littleness, as the one we all know so well, of whose tyranny we have had such bitter experience, and who goes by the name of Myself. Yet God or yourself you must choose for your master.
The whole design of God’s beneficent government of souls is to draw them out of themselves and to bring them to His truth and good.”
So, my sophisticated conclusion after reading this eloquent work is: to realize that the next time I begrudge my family for making so many dishes and thereby eating up all my computer time or toenail paint touch-up time, I must hear this wise monk in my ear — reminding me that God has blessed me in my current role and that my toenails can go another day with only seven of them painted.