Good, Bad, Sometimes Mad Teacher
Recently, Peter walked into church and genuflected sweetly in front of the tabernacle and made the sign of the cross. I was thinking of how happy this must make Jesus when, in the next moment, he pushed Mary. I am always amazed how quickly my children can go from completely adorable to raging maniacs. It takes less than a second. I wonder where my little angel went as the screeching begins.
How different am I though really? Not much. And I know so much better. Many years ago Drew scribbled spontaneously on his school page, “Good, bad, sometimes mad teacher.” I discovered it while grading his work and it cracked me up. He knew his mother well. I can be a good, bad and sometimes mad teacher. It also made me heart ache to know that this young boy had experienced the worst of his mother on too many occasions. I actually cut the page out and have it taped inside my kitchen cabinet as a reminder.
In my heart I desire so greatly to be the mother I am called to be. However, I am on this constant up and down struggle of living my vocation well and sinking into the abyss. When will I learn I wonder? When will I break the cycle for good?
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. This is one of the many titles of Mary, and it brings me much solace. Mary, despite all the struggles and sorrows in her life, remained constant in always saying yes to God and loving Jesus perfectly. Have you ever pondered just how difficult that must have been? I need only look at one day in my own life to know how truly incredible that is. My life is filled with so many more comforts than Mary’s. I am not in fear for the life of my child as she was with Jesus for the first years and more of His life. I have not had to endure watching my child suffer and be insulted as she did. I have not had to watch my child die with my own eyes. I have not had to bury my own child.
Mary’s life was not an easy one to be sure. Neither is mine. Jesus, His Mother, and the saints before us all fought the good fight. Can you think of one person you know and admire that does not have crosses? Who I am to think my life is going to easy? It is going to be a struggle and I am called to the struggle with a joyful heart. I am called to always be the “good” teacher and leave the “bad” and “ mad” teacher behind. The Lord knows this is no small task. I pray and desire to be constant in showing my love of Christ by loving those around me, especially my children.
We read about the dishonest steward in this Sunday’s Gospel of Luke 16. “Jesus said to his disciples: “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.”
I must live my everyday life well, with gratitude and joy. I have been entrusted with many “small” ones. If I can’t live the struggles of my daily life well, how will I ever be able to deal with the big crosses when they come whatever they may be. Each day is an opportunity to practice perseverance and live a holy life. Each day is a gift that God calls me to live well.
God grant me the grace to always be the “good” teacher. JMJ
Praying for our Children
Last week I wrote a bit about the praying a Morning Offering. This week I am going to write just a little on praying for our children. This is something we need to dedicate some time to everyday, a good 15 minutes or more. Quiet time by yourself, away from all the commotion, to really pray for them. I like to pray in front of the tabernacle at church, otherwise it is just too hard for me to find that peace. But, I also have 9 children! We can all find some quiet space to pray in each day if we set our mind to it.
I would encourage you to kneel down, close your eyes, and bow your head and call to mind your husband first, and then your children one by one. Say a prayer of thanks for them. Ask the Lord to look over and protect them. Say a prayer that they remain open to God’s call in their life. I have even once read a suggestion that we should pray for their future spouse in the event that marriage is their vocation. I also offer up a Hail Mary for each of them.
Our prayers for our children will largely go unseen by them, but their power will not. We do so much for our children’s physical well being, we must do even more for their spiritual. Make that time to pray for your children individually each day.