Thursday, October 20, 2011

Earning My Children's Livelihood

This morning as I drove to work in near blackness, so dark was the road, I wondered why I do this every morning.  Why do I leave my house at 5:30 AM and risk hitting a lovesick deer to start my day at Mass?  An unexpected traffic snafu made me later than usual, and as I hurried down the corridor to make it to the chapel without being late, I heard a voice behind me say: "Hey, what's the hurry?"

I thought of the time St. Therese reproached a novice for dilly dallying on her way to chapel.

"Is this how a mother of souls earns her children's keep?"

And I borrowed her line, saying I didn't want to be late to earning my children's livelihood.  But what does that mean?

Some people are really wonderful at saving money.  I'm not one of them.  Unfortunately, the green stuff means very little to me, so I think nothing of it, which I suppose is an easy thing to say when you have a job.  What I'd like to think I'm very good at investing in is the spiritual life.  Every Rosary when I have a splitting headache and would rather just go to sleep; every early-morning Mass when I'm tired and would like to sleep for another hour;  every unkind thought or word that I prevent from escaping my lips - all of it adds up.

It is not just for me that I do what I do.

"Pick up a pin from a motive of love", said St. Therese "and you may save a soul."

If a soul as nearly perfect as hers could profit spiritually from so simple an act, imagine what our greater sacrifices might yield for us and for those we hold dear.

As far as success stories go, I'm at the bottom of the totem pole in our family.  I still live in the city.  I don't have a vacation home or a pool out back.  I don't have a luxury car.  Most of my furniture is second-hand stuff picked up over the year.  And you know what? I couldn't care less.

My investments have helped procure miracles,  bring about conversions and ease the suffering of friends and relatives.  I trust that the times that I have worthily received and offered the Eucharist for the intention of the souls in Purgatory may have won someone's release.

"But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." St. Paul Corinthians 2 4:7


  1. Oh I love that quote...just used it myself this week in a post (or was that last week?)

    Anyway, I think of my children all the time when I am suffering from exhaustion or whatever little trial God is for their souls and the souls that are being lost daily.

    Join the crowd...I am low man on the totem pole too. Once in a while, a little envy tries to creep in but I know none of this will all pass away. It is spiritual treasures that we need to store. ~Theresa

  2. I forget if it was you who said this, but Therese was a spiritual genius.

    I know what you mean about the envy, and it's those times that we have to "rejoice to be little". I have it pretty good and in all honesty, wouldn't want the responsibility of all those things. I know you wouldn't either.
    God Bless!

  3. I also offer everything for the salvation of all my sons and daughters, their mates/boyfriends/girlfriends and child. It is good to know ones goals in this life. Then everything that happens to us has a framework in which to be viewed, and it does make the injustices things to glory in, and any material wealth "just stuff" that can be helpful while we are here.
    I have been reading all your posts, Joyce. I was touched and kind of proud of you when you gave away your triptych. It can be difficult to tear those little attachments, even and especially to religious treasures. God will bless you.

  4. This is just so beautiful Joyce...Some are so willing to sacrifice everything for the worldly success forgetting only souls are eternal.
    I'm at the way bottom of the totem poll too..
    I must confess I go a little green when I get the summer vacation report from the rest of the family..
    It's one of those 'needs to go' things I'm working on.

  5. Thanks Kelly, I know you're busy with school but commenting in spirit! Hope it's going well.

    Caroline, I hear ya - I have an acquaintance from my school days that sends a card every year of her family's latest exotic excursion. It's hard sometimes not to be feel a little envy. In all honesty, I have no interest in going anywhere that doesn't have anything to do with Catholicism.


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