Small Success Thursday: The Yoke of Living Lightly


Small Success Thursday

This week has been hard. My oldest aunt died Monday night, meaning a trip we’d planned for two of my daughters to go to Texas to visit my mom and brother’s and sister’s families, had to be suspended.

We registered my oldest daughter for her first year of college and filled out the (ugh) loan papers, and felt the pains of our very oldest spending most of his summer at work or at school.

I capped turning 48 by going to the emergency room for a breathing treatment and gaining back the three pounds I’d lost this summer owing to the steroids and the fat living of a birthday. My brother and his family were supposed to come visit on Saturday, but my sister-in-law suffered a great loss in her immediate family as well, and so again, things were cancelled. Honestly, the whole world felt fragile: rushed, stretched beyond capacity, and in danger of dying.

But this week, I continued walking the ten times up and down my driveway, at the behest of my brother. I made it three times last week, and twice so far this one. Walking up and down, I noticed the lawn. Three trees need to be cut down in our front yard owing to some sort of blight, and there is a glut of strangle weed we need to pull from the bushes before it does damage. In the mail, I got a speeding ticket from one of those snap cameras on the road. And I sighed as it seems we are spending more on things we would not want, even as I’m trying to pare back on all that we have. The Gospel talking about coming to Him, for His yoke is easy and the burden light beckons, especially when the world feels heavy.

So this morning, when I walked, I prayed the rosary, and as I began the Hail Marys, I received what a consolation, though I did not know it at the time. As I went through the decade, petitioning for each of my family members, I collected saints to walk with me, to pray with me, gathering them like a bouquet of flowers for each person. I mentioned in particular my aunt (I did not know at the time she had died). I’d asked that her brother (my dad) be with her as I knew she was dying. And all the weight of the day, of the week, fell away. None of what needed to be done didn’t still need to be done, but the edges and the bite of the world could not overwhelm, the yolk of living, had been made lighter.

Coming to Him with one’s troubles is a small success, and one we have to repeat every day. But if we do, the yoke will be easy and the burden light.

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Copyright 2014, Sherry Antonetti


About Author

Sherry Antonetti is a mother of ten children, published author of The Book of Helen and a freelance writer of humor and family life columns. You can read additional pieces from her blog,


  1. Wow, Sherry, you have A LOT of big things going on! I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your aunt. I love how you gathered the saints to pray the Rosary with you. It is so beautiful to imagine them walking with you up and down the driveway! And this quote will stay with me for awhile: “Coming to Him with one’s troubles is a small success, and one we have to repeat every day. But if we do, the yoke will be easy and the burden light.” God bless you!

  2. There is so much on your plate right now! I’m glad you received that consolation. This Sunday at Mass, Father talked about how Jesus, as a carpenter, had probably built yokes. These were custom-made to fit the oxen who wore them, made to be balanced perfectly so that they would not cause pain or irritation to the animals, and that perfect balance would make the burden light for the oxen. The yoke that he invites us to take upon our shoulders is “easy” in the same way, and our burden made light because it is Jesus on the other side of that yoke.
    I hope that you are breathing easier now (literally!) and will pray for your family’s consolation and eternal rest for those family members who passed away this week.

  3. Pingback: Small Success Thursday: More Running, Shy Kids at Theater Camp, and Mr. Nezzer in My Garden | Domestic Vocation

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about your family’s loss. The Gospel from this past Sunday always touches me deeply, too. There are times I nearly weep thinking of it. Knowing we can rest in Jesus’ arms sometimes helps get through the day.

    I’ll pray for your aunt, and for your family, as well.

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