Here are some thoughts as we begin Holy Week —
- Mothering our families can feel overwhelming at times, can’t it? Well, I came across this quote today, and I really love it. –“Do everything calmly and peacefully. Do as much as you can as well as you can. Strive to see God in all things without exception, and consent to His will joyously. Do everything for God, uniting yourself to him in word and deed. Walk very simply with the Cross of the Lord and be at peace with yourself.” – St. Francis de Sales
- Along those lines, I’ve had a different sort of Lent this year. Instead of just giving up the typical things, I’ve worked on a very specific virtue — joyfulness. B-mama wrote a while back about joy stealers, you know, those crabby people in our lives who are always complaining about things and looking at what’s wrong. Well, I spent this Lent not only trying to avoid being a joy stealer, but actually trying to be a joy maker. Mom really does set the tone in the house, and so joy making is a very important part of homemaking. I’m pressing forward with this goal during Holy Week, which may make for a different sort of experience this year.
- One of the big lessons I’ve learned from trying to be a joy maker — don’t dwell on your failures. It isn’t very joyful to spend time thinking about how you are failing at being a joy maker! Fail, ask forgiveness, and then ask for the grace to press on. Like all things, it takes focus and perseverance.
- And speaking of joy makers, two of my girls are quite gifted in this area. My oldest daughter, Gianna, turned 9 on Friday. She celebrated with a big girl party, and what fun to see her enjoy her girlfriends. As usual, I awoke on her birthay completely overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of her life. She is such a light in our family, so full of joy and kindness. My younger children all agree that they are pretty lucky to have such a great big sister. They all showed her their appreciation in different ways on Friday, and I soaked in every minute of it.
- Our new Holy Father is saying Holy Thursday Mass at a prison. How challenging is that? Since his election, I’ve been thinking a lot about how our family can better serve the poor in our local area. The nursing home or helping with the St. Vincent DePaul Society at our Parish seem like obvious choices, but if you have ideas that work for you and younger children, please share them.
- And speaking of serving the poor, a few weeks ago the Church celebrated the feast of St. Katharine Drexel. Maybe it is because the former Catholic Chaplain at Princeton had a special liking for St. Katharine, or maybe it is my Philadelphia roots, but I’ve always been drawn to St. Katharine. I’ve known for years that St. Katharine, the child of great wealth, gave it all away to serve the poor. But just a few weeks ago I read that as a child, St. Katharine’s mother served the poor, inviting them into their home and treating them like members of the family. I feel inspired and overwhelmed by this beautiful example of love.
Many prayers for all our readers as you begin Holy Week!