I am an at-home mother of six children, four of whom are now adults. I've been married for 31 years and my children range from 15 to 27. This blog is about faith, family, and life, with occasional rants about politics and other hot-button issues for me. I am Catholic and by that I mean I believe in faithfulness to the Magisterium.
Reflections on life, faith, family and the times we live in
... by a mom at home raising kids.
I suddenly noticed a lovely woman in a pure white suit sitting right next to us, looking intently at me and smiling. I had not seen her come in. My first thought was, "You're awfully brave sitting that close to us." I was thinking of her suit and our ketchup. She continued to smile and simply said, "Your children are very well behaved." Immediately I felt so encouraged, as though a burden had been lifted from me. I don't remember her leaving. The image of her smile came back to me many times that day and in the days and years to follow.
Could she have been an angel? The fact that, many years later, I still have a recall of a woman who "just happened" to sit next to us at Wendy's makes me think maybe she was.
I-ism turns up frequently in dishonest speech. Exaggerations,
caricatures, and plain lies occur to enhance the vanity and self-image of the
conversationalist. Domination in a meeting or in ordinary chatting can
serve the same purpose: my experience, my stories, my ideas, are more
interesting and important than yours, and so it is right that I go on at
length, perhaps even interrupting what you have to contribute.
I mean, why the hate? Why the leaping to conclusions about what kind of people they are? I don't expect everybody to think this is a great thing (I personally don't desire to have 15 children myself, but maybe I would feel differently after I had another 5 or 6!). But this family is labeled as ultra-conservative, scary, religious freaks, bad bad bad bad bad. Basically, the accusation seems to be that by the very fact that they have "irresponsibly" had so many children, they were guilty of child abuse, neglect, and the ultimate sin of failing to expose their children to real life.
As a mother of six, I have received a number of negative comments about the size of my family. "Better you than me.", "Are they all yours." (Yes, thanks be to God.) My children once told me that they really didn't like it when people made comments like that. Can you blame them? The comments are insulting.
Children are a gift from God. There is no greater blessing on this Earth than to be entrusted with children. Why so much criticism of those of us who have been richly blessed? I guess the answer is that, sadly, many people do not know the truth.
Still, where is the cherished value of "diversity?" Apparently it's OK for Heather to have two mommies but not seven or eight brothers and sisters!
The young abbot was speaking to his community one day, and he made a remark that shocked me on my first reading of it. "There are more people converted from mortal sin to grace, than there are religious converted from good to better.".........What Bernard said of religious unfortunately is true in all states of life: bishops, priests, married men and women.......Bernard was saying that there are more men who give up serious alienation from God, mortal sin, than there are people who give up small wrongs, willed venial sins. And there are even fewer who grow into heroic virtue and live as saints live.Perhaps this is because those who have fallen the farthest have the greatest appreciation of God's mercy. Or perhaps it is because so many attached to willed venial sins also fall victim to pride, believing they have less need of God's mercy. We so underestimate the importance of humility in spiritual growth.
Oh Lord, grant me a spirit of true humility that I might be open to all the graces you want to give me.
PAPAL PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER