Why do we do this each week? What does all this recounting of rosaries and bedtimes, cleaned closets and date nights add up to? It adds up to witnessing. One of the big problems with Catholicism lived is it does not make the news. A woman feeding their children, caring for their home, romancing their husband, this is what we hope should be the norm. It does not impress to do these things because it should be the baseline. To do what is holy is to become it, and as St. Teresa of Avila said, “God is in the pots and pans.” He must want to spend a lot of time with me, because there are always dishes.
However, given the nature of our nature (fallen), what we aspire to do as ordinary, is in fact, extraordinary. It is holy.
If you doubt this, consider Mary, the Blessed Mother, who more than anyone else in the whole history of the world, lived an extraordinary ordinary life. She had the honor and the task of being mother to the Son of God. It’s easy to put Mary on a pedestal and render her bloodless. To pretend she never worried, never wondered, never stressed, never felt tired, never wrestled with wanting to sin, because she had no original sin. But if Eve never had original sin and could be tempted, then we must know that Mary’s fiat was an ongoing perpetual fiat, like her virginity, something she had to go on choosing. Her obedience was a gift, her domesticity a revelation to the world of that “yes.” Her supreme yes had to be at the cross, when she still did not give into frustration, wrath, rage or revenge. If the Blessed Mother does not become at the very least, irritated at the people who crucified her son, then I have far less cause to get miffed over a basement covered in Legos. When we write up what we did this week to try and live out our faith, to show our faith with our works, we are seeking to be like Mary, to reveal to the world, the peace, joy and love that comes from a life surrendered (at least in part when we get it right), to God. The goal is to always surrender more.
Last week I spoke of being grateful for the opportunity to take care of the basement. Saying I was grateful made going down there less aggravating. Saying I was grateful made it possible for me to not get worked up over the state of the house over the weekend. It’s a habit (a bad one) I’m trying to break, and the only cure is not a perfectly cleaned house, but a grateful heart, a surrendered heart. So I’m giving it, like the gym (yes I made it two times last week) and my writing, each an hour or trying to, and the results are, we are progressing, if not perfect.
This week, the small successes are, “We’re going to the Papal Mass.” (I write this on Tuesday for Thursday). We’re going to South Bend, Indiana for a football game and to show off Saint Mary’s to my daughter, and 4 of my children did cross-country, and all of them finished their races. So show off what you did this week to say yes, to live an extraordinary life amongst the pots and pans. I can’t wait to read about your small successes.
Copyright 2015 Sherry Antonetti.