Two Saints for a Bad Attitude

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It’s summer. It’s hot and it’s a time of heavy-lifting for moms.

The blessings of summer in the form of fun activities for the children and family, visits with faraway relatives, travel, vacation, and school being out can be a lot of work for moms. Just yesterday my mom was telling me that my sister-in-law’s washing machine in her new house has been out of commission for more than a week, during which: weekend company came to visit, my brother returned from a four-day wilderness adventure with wilderness clothes badly in need of washing, and her little guy was right in the middle of potty training. Then the repairman called to say that he was unable to come the day it was scheduled to be fixed, and she is expecting more company in a few days.

I haven’t talked to her yet, but I’m sure she’s remained her usual cool and calm self. She’s been an inspiration to me, as well as other friends who have been handling summertime trials with grace.

With the afternoon heat the temptation is strong to think that everything’s bad and unfair. (And if you’re a mom, let’s face it: some days it’s close to being true!) That said, having a bad attitude as we all know is never helpful. It’s like a ski boat pulling away from the dock with its plug out. It’ll be approximately three minutes before we go down and take everyone with us.

Two heavenly friends who can help us resist getting pulled down in the obstacles that come our way are St. Josephine Bakhita and Blessed Mother Teresa, both of whom had exemplary mindsets that helped them overcome the difficulties in their lives.

St. Josphine Bakhita: “I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me—I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.”

Trials, hardships, and loss–no matter how small–can instantly be made intolerable if we feel that they’re somehow a punishment from God or a sign that He’s left us. St. Josephine is a beautiful friend to call on to help us remain firm in our belief that God is love and is with us always.

Captured by slave masters at a young age, St. Josephine endured endless hardships and brutality until she was finally freed in Italy and became a Canossian sister in her twenties. She came to know and love the Master of all masters, Our Lord, who allowed Himself to be beaten to capture the love of his children. St. Josephine, who had every reason to believe that God had abandoned her, instead grew daily in her love for Him. We can call on St. Josephine to pray for us to see that God, in fact, draws even closer to us during difficult times.

Blessed Mother Teresa: “You did it to Me.”

Serving others–in the heat, maybe without even a washing machine– can quickly become an impossibly heavy task if we drift into the temptation of thinking about things in terms of fairness. Blessed Mother Teresa, who was able to accomplish a supernatural amount of good work, did so through grace and an unflappable conviction that every person she touched was Jesus. She took Jesus at His word when He said, “You did it to Me.” She knew that she could not hold and touch Jesus in the Eucharist, so God had given her the poor so that she could show her love for Him through them.

God’s given us our own circle of people to love and serve, and we can ask for Blessed Mother Teresa’s intercession that we, too, remain energized by the knowledge that we can love and care for Our Lord  whenever we take care of our families. Our Lord thirsts for our love, and we can give it to Him through the many, many drinks that we serve to our family and friends this season.

St. Josephine Bakhita and Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for our attitudes!

Copyright 2014 Meg Matenaer

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