Dear Student, Does it feel strange to be addressed as a student, even though you’ve been out of school for a while? Does the word send a rush of adrenaline down your spine, as you remember pop quizzes and lunch room drama? Or does it spark a memory in you of a curious, younger version…
We are all hungry, and we all have the power to feed one another. It’s the simplest thing, to turn to one another and offer the gift of ourselves. But we’ve made a habit of withholding. We have the opportunity to be God’s tenderness and mercy for one another; how often we choose otherwise. We get in the habit of building up walls, counting our merits instead of our blessings.
“In order for something greater to grow, something lesser has to die.” This is the first rule of the spiritual life, according to a dear friend and trusted advisor. A man who knows and loves Jesus like I one day hope to. This principle has certainly held true in motherhood.
If I stop to slow down and pay attention, I do hear God's call, right in the middle of the clatter of dishes going back into the cupboards (when my husband puts them away, because, yet again, I was too tired). The mission to love in this vocation is a series of simple choices, and hearing God's call is as easy as taking a moment to breathe in awareness of the purpose in my actions. Each small choice to care for our home and my family is the choice of love. Each time I choose to set aside my own weariness to play with my baby or encourage my husband, in a small way, I mimic Christ's self-sacrifice on the cross. And when I take the time to offer myself as gift to my loved ones, I enjoy the gift of love, of life fully lived. Resurrection dawns in my heart, and the beauty of this vocation outshines its difficulties.
God was offering me a glimpse of what he feels for us when we turn away from him in moments of fear, of shame, of self-loathing. The isolation of sin is self imposed. If only we would turn to God, we would see the face of love. Like the father in the story of the prodigal son, he waits and watches for us to come to home. Our capacity to receive his mercy is contingent only on our own willingness to turn and embrace it.