Tuesday, February 14, 2017

On Vocation and Sacrifice and Holiness

My day yesterday:

Get up at 5:30, get myself and all the kids ready.
Leave at 6:55.
Drop older two off for high school bus.
Get to work at 7:15.
Teach 3/4-year-olds until 3:00.
Leave work at 4:00.
Get home and sit at island helping with homework.
Start dinner at 4:30, while cleaning up kitchen of stray items.  Calm child who is having a meltdown.
Serve dinner at 5:15, and eat quickly myself.
Leave at 5:30 to pick up high schoolers.
Arrive back home at 6:40 because they were running late.
Leave with eldest at 6:50 to go to theater.
Go to meeting at church late at 7:15.
Pick up eldest at theater at 9.
Get home at 9:15 and work on grocery list, dishes, kitchen clean up, laundry.
Fall into bed at 10:45.

Maybe you can relate to my day.  Your day probably didn't look just like mine, but maybe it was full and busy and exhausting. Maybe you spent your day serving others.  Maybe you stayed home with your little ones and felt like you got nothing accomplished.  Maybe you worked all day in a job that feels unfulfilling.  Maybe you spent your day in a job you love! Or maybe you were afforded a day of leisure -- of spending time doing what refreshes and renews you.

No matter how you spent your day, likely some (if not much of it) felt very ordinary, full of minutiae, even boring or frustrating.  I know my days often feel that way.  Just a to-do list that never ends.  Laundry, taxiing children, work, cleaning, dishes, paperwork. . .it can feel as if I am drowning.

I recently read this passage that resonated with me so.  The idea of vocation has long been something that has fascinated me.  That God would work in our lives, and even more, do HIS work in our lives -- our seemingly very ordinary, mundane existence -- amazes me.

. . ."For all their [lay people] works, prayer and apostolic endeavors, their ordinary married and family life, their daily occupations, their physical and mental relaxation, if carried out in the Spirit, and even the hardships of life, if patiently borne - all these become "spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

Our ordinary lives are made holy in Christ!  Our every day sufferings, pain, minutiae, joys, chores, and work actually become a spiritual worship when we offer them up to Christ.

What joy this brings us!  While we might not feel as though our daily lives are anything special, we know that Christ is working in even these moments -- bringing us closer to Him, and often through our example, bringing others to Him as well.

Today I will have a similar day as yesterday.  I don't work today, but I will be working - running errands, doing household chores, ferrying children to and fro. And since today is Valentine's Day, I will close out the day with a special family dinner.  But today I pray that instead of being bogged down in the mire of ordinary life,  that I would see this day and every day as the sacred work Christ has chosen to do in my life.

Great holiness consists in carrying out the 'little duties' of each moment.
Saint Josemaría Escrivá

No comments: