March 3, 2007

the holiness of the everyday

As a new wife (7 months tomorrow!) I have learned, and been able to put into practice, many things about my vocation. I always new that being a wife and a mother (when God deems right) go beyond a change of life - they are a way of life. Being a wife and a mother aren’t just titles I am given – they are a vocation, a calling from God, and a way of life that I have a duty to live out to the best of my ability in order to grow in grace and help lead my husband and future children to Heaven. Whoa. This is a big deal. And now that I am in the beginning stages I see not only how easy it is to get off track and lose focus, but also how important it is to rededicate everything I do for its ultimate purpose.

As I was making the bed the other morning, in a rush, of course, I stopped and realized that I am growing in holiness. As I was ironing Michael's millionth white shirt, it reminded me to pray for him (pray I wouldn't burn it...just kidding) and for the success of his job. And as I came home one day to a messy apartment and was tired from 3rd graders and didn't feel like picking things up, I realized that if I can put myself and my needs aside, I am growing in the virtues that will lead me to Heaven. Holiness is not in the loftiest of ideals or hours spent in prayer - it is found everywhere, IF we take advantage of it. And if this is the case, there are so many things that we can give to God throughout our day. We can offer sitting in traffic for a family member who just had a bad day. We can offer doing the dishes for someone else we know who needs our prayers. We can also offer our little tasks and annoyances even for the end to abortion or the holy souls in purgatory. It is by recognizing that the physical can make way for the spiritual that our world opens up and we are given a meaning for EVERYTHING that we do.

Not to keep rambling, but I've been dabbling in this book called Splendor in the Ordinary. It talks about the home, not only as the domestic church where Christ's love and teachings are first introduced, but also the environment that the home should portray as this domestic church. It is about applying the church to our homes. I won't get into too much detail, but I will leave you with one quote from the introduction:

" least one place (among others) which may be hallowed anew as the place where the celebration of all the mysteries may occur, and where all of life may be offered up in oblation to the Most High, is the family household. Within these four walls, under this roof, the lamps are lighted. The offering is here; the vigil is here; the feast is here; the faithful are here. All the eating and drinking, and the working and playing, and the discipline and serving and loving that go on here - they are all holy. For these common routines of daily life are not only necessities and functions: they are also the messengers...they are the hallows, set hourly before us in visible, touchable, light-of-day forms."

Time to go clean the house now before Michael gets home!


Andrew St.Hilaire said...

Kristine - it's wonderful to hear about your spiritual victories and growth, especially in your new marriage which God gave us so we might grow in holiness!

It's an interesting coincidence that you post on the virtues found in the ordinary, because I've recently been exploring the possibilty of joining Opus Dei whose entire mission is to show us the endless opportunities for growth in our every day activities.

If you haven't already, you should check out St. Josemaria Escriva's (founder of Opus Dei) book "The Way." It's probably a lot like "Splendor in the Ordinary."

Michael and Kristine said...

I will check it out. Thanks, Andrew!