I love the Church. She is a great mother which has led me deeper into the great mystery of faith.
If there is one thing that I have learned is that we must do God’s will.
Read the saints, there it is. They constantly submit to God’s will in their lives.
They see His hand in everything that happens in their day, good and bad.
In theology classrooms professors (hopefully) teach that we are here to know, love and serve God.
From pulpits around the world the message is spread that in order to advance spiritually we must humble ourselves to answer God’s call, to do His Will for by this we will be set free and become an amazing vessel of grace to spread His message throughout the world.
So True and So Good but also SO HARD!
Why is it so stinkin’ hard?! In the words of Tom Hanks in the move “A League of Their Own”, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard then everyone would be doing it. Hard makes it great.”
Here’s the deal, I like to think that I’m not opposed to hard work. If I need to plant some seeds in a garden, I’m not afraid of getting down on my hands and knees and dig in the dirt. If I need to change a stinky diaper, I don’t even think twice about it. I grab the diaper, wipes and hold my breath for the 40 seconds it takes (depending on the disaster that awaits inside). I used to LOVE researching for papers. Sitting with ten books spread out in front of me until all hours of the morning, yes, please! That kind of hard I can do easily.
God’s ‘hard’ stretches beyond my will. It pushes me to kneel instead of sit during the rosary. It means taking the times I can’t fast and replace it with another sacrifice i.e. eat a less favorite food as an offering.
You see, God knows what I like. He knows that I loved getting assigned 10 page research papers and secretly wished they were 20 pages instead. Instead, He tweaks my heart so that I have to reel in what I want to do.
I love teaching. I have always had a desire to dig in and pass on the faith to others. I finally got my taste of it this summer. And you know what, I want more. I have found my new 20 page research paper–it is teaching. There is one small obstacle.
I am a stay at home mom.
I love my kids and I am so elated to be their primary teacher. Yet, I struggle. I want to be ‘out there’. I want to be with others who are desperate to be fed. Who want to know about the Church but have no one to ask. I want to be there to answer their questions and learn with them. There are times I feel trapped in the walls of my home. My heart is split between the place my heart yearns to go and the place where God has placed me.
Then I remember, “If it wasn’t hard it wouldn’t be great.”
St. Terese of Liseaux is the patron of missionaries. She always desired to be a missionary. Yet, when she discerned her vocation, she knew God was calling her to be a Carmelite. A cloistered Carmelite. Once she entered the abbey doors she would never leave again. Which makes me wonder, did she ever feel trapped? A missionary trapped inside a Carmelite’s cloister?
As I read her story, I realized that St. Terese didn’t suppress her desire to be missionary. She found a way to be a spiritual missionary. Instead of her feet doing the walking and her mouth doing the talking as a physical missionary, she wielded her prayers to fight for the souls of those both inside and outside of the monastery’s walls. That missionary spirit compelled her to serve those around her. She didn’t sit for hours yearning for a life she would never have, instead she shifted her focus to see the mission field that God wanted her to tend to. Her missionary field became the very home which God had called her to take vows in. Those she was to serve were those right around her. Amazingly enough, the diary which she wrote has now become a spiritual juggernaut for countless people around the world. This beautiful, simple, holy nun’s mission and ways of carrying it out have touched the lives of saints and sinners alike around the world for over a century.
I may not be St. Terese but I believe we all have that same call. God has put us in our very situations and places not to kill the desires of our hearts but to challenge them to become something more. My desire to teach I know is a call from God and though I may desire a greater platform on which to proclaim His truths, He has placed my feet in my home. It here that I must teach. Who knows, who I teach at home may change the world one day.