Most Sundays, I have the luxury of arriving to Mass a half hour early thanks to the fact that I arrive with half of our music ministry team in time for them to tune and rehearse. The 8:00 Mass crowd has filtered out, making their way to the sweet smell of the donut room. Our church sits, big, quiet and largely empty except for me, the musicians and a few devoted parishioners who arrive early to pray the Rosary.
In truth, that half hour of settling time is a luxury and one of the best parts of my week. Most Sundays, I reread the Liturgy of the Word and jot a few words in the notebook I always carry with me – some of those notes deal with the readings. There are also “to do” lists, shopping lists, prayer requests, story ideas, and just fleeting thoughts I need and want to capture before they are replaced in my mind.
Most moms don’t have this grace in their lives – I didn’t until very recently. Sunday morning means finding the lost shoe, slicking the hair, cleaning spitup off the shoulder of the one dress you have clean, herding a passel of little ones into a minivan, refereeing fights, maneuvering the parking lot and arriving in the pew as the priest processed down the aisle – been there, done that!
Most moms feel anything but the serenity I know every Sunday morning – we continually rehash the age-old debates about how to get our tribe to sit peacefully for Mass.
I guess I just want those of you who are in the thick of that seemingly endless phase to know that a day will come when you may indeed miss all of that craziness, when you’ll have time to sit and pray and read. The quiet will be all the more precious to you because of these years you’re spending without it. The still will feel palpable, like a gift from God that you can never properly acknowledge. And — believe it or not — you will look back longingly on the days of kneeler wars and lost good shoes.
During part of my quiet time every Sunday I pray for each of you — my mom sisters. I may know you and your struggles personally, or I may never have the pleasure of meeting you in person. But as we begin our celebration of National Vocation Awareness Week, you remain in my prayers. The vocation we share, our state in life, is one of God’s greatest gifts. Whether your Sunday is chaotic or quiet, your life as a mom is making a difference in this world.