Dear Mothers of Young Children,
Thank you for coming to Mass today. We know how much work it is. You have been awake for hours feeding, dressing, cajoling. It is only 8:30 AM and you are tired. You made it here just in time and hoped no one noticed as you shuffled everyone into the pew while the priest walked down the aisle.
You try to keep them quiet as they shed their jackets, hats, and mittens and you admonish them to keep their wet boots off the kneelers. They wiggle and whisper and squirm and you worry that the people behind you will be annoyed. You try to appear calm and patient, gently instructing them on how to behave, while inside you want to cry, disappear or yell “Knock it off!” You may briefly consider cuffing them up the back of the head except there are so many people behind you.
They pester each other and you. You hope for a quiet moment to pray, to find the strength and peace to get through one more week before you return to ask again. They do what children do and you hope it will be enough that you showed up.
It is enough. It is more than enough. You are an inspiration to all of us and a reminder of our own experience, lest we judge. We were there once too and when we see you valiantly working to bring your children to the Lord, we offer up a prayer for you. You may not have the chance to pray, but we pray for you.
“His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36)
Know that his heart is moved. He feels compassion. He knows what you do each week to bring your children to him. He knows how hard it is. It is not unnoticed. You are not alone.
Know that it is worth it. You are building up the next generation. You are building the Kingdom of God. It is never wasted and it brings Jesus joy. This time will pass and your children will sit quietly next to you and you will have the moment to pray for them and we will all be better because of your work and sacrifice.
For today, what you are doing is good. It is very good. Thank you.
Copyright 2018 Merridith Frediani