Most mornings at 5, you’d find me drinking tea, doing my spiritual reading (St. Faustina’s Diary and Searching for and Maintaining Peace) and lectio divina. Or getting ready to go for a swim, but let’s not get too complicated.
June 19, 5 a.m. This is what greets me.
Yes, it is the morning of my youngest son’s birthday. Nothing is wrapped. The quandary: Attend to my spiritual duties or to my temporal? Enter: the cup of tea.
Earl Grey Creme. With…creme. Yes, and the stovetop needs to be cleaned.
Back to my quandary. It’s going to be a busy day. Do I wrap the presents now and skip the spiritual or do the spiritual and try to rush getting a special breakfast done and presents wrapped after Mass? A few weeks ago, I read Holiness for Housewives, by Dom van Zeller. In it, he said that we please God most when we do the duty that He gives us at the moment. Pile of dirty dishes in the sink? Crying babies and laundry strewn throughout the house? Maybe He’s calling me to stay home, tend to my children and house instead of piously praying the Mass. If that is the case, lovingly scrubbing the dishes can be more pleasing to God that any amount of Holy Communions. Sometimes we use holy things as an excuse to run away from our earthly concerns. Yes, God wants us to run to Him. Just not always literally. At times, the “running” that we do can only be in our hearts as we dust the shelves, change the 500th diaper, or do the dishes for the sixth time. Before lunchtime.
Is my case a good example? Uh, probably not, since I really could have done the present-wrapping every day for the week prior. But! It’s a nice thought, isn’t it? And I did pray for my son as I wrapped those gifts. That he would be a good, holy and obedient child. That he would learn to hear God’s whisper. That he would pick up these toys so I wouldn’t have to immediately give them to Goodwill. That his day would be joyful and a source of good memories to fall back on in hard times.