Thursday, April 19, 2012

Those who can't, teach: On raising saints

Sometimes I feel like a defective mother. Other moms talk about how they instantly fell in love with their baby when he was born, or that they had a new appreciation of their own mother, or how they love this child more than they ever thought possible. And I smile and say that's beautiful. But truthfully, none of that happened for me.

Which isn't to say that I don't love Peter or my mom. I've always appreciated my mom and understood that she sacrificed to make me happy. I love Peter with all my heart and that love keeps growing, but it's not more than I love other people, just different.

One thing has changed, though. I value his soul more than my own.

In marriage, my husband and I were made one. I became just as concerned for his faith as I was for my own. We are a partnership, seeking God together in this life He has given us. In my family, my parents are counselors and spiritual leaders for me. My brothers, cousins, and friends, whether they are Christian or not, I generally see as companions on this journey. I pray for them, but I don't hear a calling to make them my particular responsibility.

"Be gentle with the tree. It's a present for us from God!"

Peter changed everything. I want to have a better prayer life, that I can lead him to a life of prayer. I want to do acts of service, so he will understand the call to serve the poor. I want to read the Bible, stories of saints, and prayer books so he knows about those who have gone before us. His soul has been entrusted to me and my husband; I am doing what I can to help him reach paradise. I am not confident that I can live out holiness, but I want to teach it to Peter.

My own salvation, of course, remains important to me. But so often when I turn to God in prayer, receive the Eucharist, or meditate on Scripture, I come back to a common refrain. Please God, give him a heart that follows you. Make me a model for him. Use me to strengthen his faith. This, I guess, is why motherhood is a vocation.


  1. I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. Thank you for writing! ‎

    1. Thank you very much! I have a Versatile Blogger Award post from months ago, but maybe I'll write another. Thanks for thinking of me!

  2. What a beautiful post! Such a lovely testament to the role of mothers as the first educators of children, with spiritual education being at the top of the list! I think being an example to them in how we lead our lives is so important, but it can be so difficult to do! I find myself praying for guidance on this point quite often :) Thanks for your inspiration!