My Envy at Mass Was Finally Put Away

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Editor’s Note: This week, we are celebrating along with Kathleen Blease over the launch of her new resource for families The Catholic Mom: Nurturing Your Household. Available at Amazon, the pamphlet shares Kathleen’s perspective on raising children in the faith. LMH

Going it alone was hard, but the Lord gave me my solution.

I used to sit in Mass, in between my two boys, and look around and notice all the families. Moms and Dads flanking the kids. I envied them. When one child acted up, Dad was there with silent discipline. When the family prayed the Lord’s Prayer, they were united with clasped hands. Kids could look to the left and see their mom, then look to the right and see their dad. When my children were little and hard to contain, I longed for my husband to attend Mass with us, but I knew I couldn’t force it. Yet my longing turned into frustration and then into envy as I watched other families march to Holy Communion together.

Then one day, it hit me. It was so clear. It happened while I was teaching our boys about the Mass, how the gifts are taken to the altar. And when the bread, wine, and treasure are offered to the Lord, we should be putting ourselves there on the altar as well. We should offer Him everything, I told them. Offer your successes throughout the week, your failures, your fears, your celebrations…everything that is in your life and in your heart. Who knows you better than Our Lord? He will treasure what you give to Him.

Yes, there it was. All those years when I stewing in my envy I should have been offering the needs of my husband and putting them on the altar. At first, I offered his discernment of conversion, not sure there even was a discernment, but it didn’t hurt to try. Then over time I decided to forget about what I wanted my husband to be, and I began to think about what my husband really needed on a daily basis. Even though he hadn’t detailed his challenges in a list for me, as his wife I knew well what those were. So I offered them at the altar, right along side my own little successes and failures and needs and fears and wants. And, yes, even my envy. I finally gave it to the Lord. It was time to give it away for good.

Copyright 2012 Kathleen Blease

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