It’s only natural to be thinking about possible new beginnings and changes in our lives at this time of year. What is Our Lord expecting of us this coming year? What will He unfold in our lives?
Some of the things in our lives we are able to change and some we simply cannot. As we leave the past year behind us and are feeling ready for some sort of change, whether big or small, in reality many aspects of our lives will remain unchanged in a sense, especially for mothers. The feeling of sheer monotony in our daily routine could cause us to feel a lack of newness. And, further, we might lament that it would appear that nothing at all noteworthy is happening in our lives.
Yet, truth be told, it’s in those very ordinary daily moments in which we are immersed as mothers where change indeed occurs.
Perhaps, if we mothers could endeavor to see the bigger picture, we would feel more content during those nitty-gritty details of our lives when we are serving our family members—challenges and all. Sure, many times we may not be appreciated for our efforts to raise our children on the straight and narrow (within our homes and outside). We’re not exactly getting a pat on the back from our society, are we? As well, there are those who just don’t understand our commitment to care for not only the externals, but also the spiritual welfare of our families.
But, our Lord knows what we are all about. He sees every bead of sweat on our brows and knows all about our sleepless nights when we are up feeding our infants or caring for sick children. Our reward will be great in Heaven.
Let’s keep our eyes on the prize and offer every bit of our prayers, works, joys, and sufferings to He who gives us life! What more do we need? If we are wondering how our personal “Yes” to God in welcoming life and raising our families can have much of an impact on our world, let’s consider for a moment Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, whom I was very fortunate to know.
She preached the gospel by doing—by living it. She seldom preached to the masses, only when asked to address a gathering; she then spoke God’s words and inspired others to also do the Lord’s work.
Fueled with the sacraments and prayer, the majority of Mother Teresa’s preaching was within her ministry of wholehearted service to the poorest of the poor—to one person at a time, she preached Christ’s message—through her loving hands and her selfless heart—during what would seem like ordinary moments. She didn’t shout the gospel from the rooftops, but rather shared it from her heart to each person she met—each one God put within her reach. Blessed Teresa’s approach of lovingly ministering to one person at a time made it’s way all around our globe. Amazing change occurred with God’s grace.
Mother Teresa’s “Yes” was powerful. She has touched countless people directly and indirectly. Her life was an utter living testament to the gospel. And, this is just as a mother’s life should be as well. A mother’s personal “Yes” to God is very powerful too. We preach Christ’s message of love and forgiveness through our loving hands to the people we encounter—one-by-one, heart-by-heart.
We further the Kingdom of God in the heart of our homes—with every diaper change, every hug to our family members, every meal prepared, every squabble resolved, and every lesson of faith lovingly taught to our children, fostered through our words and very importantly, our example.
God is counting on us to evangelize with love in our domestic churches. After all, as Mother Teresa was famous for saying, “Love begins at home.” We must strive to find “Calcutta” in our midst.
So, what will unfold for us this New Year? God only knows for sure, but we can start heading in the right direction by surrendering our lives more fully to God each day and allowing Him to work change through us in our families and beyond to draw countless souls to Heaven.
Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle is a Catholic wife, mother of five, and host and creator of the EWTN series Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms. A catechist, speaker, and journalist, she is the bestselling author of numerous Catholic books, including The Domestic Church: Room by Room. Her newest book from Servant Books is Embracing Motherhood.