Where Duty Turns to Blessing

Where Duty Turns to Blessing October 14, 2014

Elizabeth Duffy writes the best thing I’ve read in a long time — also the thing I most needed to hear, today and every day.

My friend Karen noted that if the Synod does lead to a change in the Church’s approach to divorced and remarried Catholics, expediting the annulment process and their return to communion, it won’t be Catholic lay people who get a free pass, so much as the pastors who would no longer be entrusted with shepherding that particular journey.  “And while it’s possible to thrive without good parents,” she said, “it’s really, really nice to have good parents.”

I couldn’t argue with that.


A couple times lately, this scenario has happened to me: I have wrestled the kids through all their bedtime hygiene maneuvers. We have speed dialed the bedtime prayers. They’ve all been sent up to their prospective beds, and amazingly, are quiet in their rooms. It would seem that they have even turned out the lights. Aaaaand… Time for me to relax.

But wait!

There is a niggling little voice in my head that says, “Go upstairs, lay hands on each of your children, and bless them.”

“Eh, I don’t really want to,” I think. “What if they want to talk to me, and I don’t get out of there for another half hour? Why mess with a good thing? I’ve already given birth to these people, and I take them to the dentist every six months. And my knees hurt on the stairs. Plus, I’ve got this really inspiring book of spiritual reading to look at that might make me more docile to the Holy Spirit.”

Fulfilling my duty really is the easy part of being a mother. The difficult part is where duty turns to blessing, where I respond to the call of the Spirit and place a calling on my children. “Listen to me, my faithful children, open up your petals like roses planted near running waters.” (Sirach 39:13)

They may find God someday regardless of me, but it is really, really nice to have good parents.

(Read the rest here)

Really, go read it. It’s amazing.


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