This past Sunday, the readings focused on being the light of Christ to an ever-darkening world. Several bloggers have shared insights into the homilies they heard, and all the messages seem to resonate with the one our chaplain gave – we must go out and spread the Gospel and the light of Christ with the world. We can’t just hide the light under a bushel, and fool ourselves into thinking that suffices for our Christian obligation.
And, I agree with that message! We must be willing to go out and share the love of Christ with all we meet – we are called to be Christ’s hands and feet on a daily basis. We are called to be merciful toward others, and to extend a helping hand, ear, shoulder to anyone in need.
The more I thought about the message, one question kept nagging at me – with the emphasis on “doing unto others,” so strong, how many of us are taking a moment to recognize what we are doing to those closest to us?
Many of us, especially as mothers, give of ourselves routinely. We have a tendency to give to the point where we are exhausted and not fully caring for ourselves. This takes a toll on those around us, and all too often, I would suppose we have a horrible habit of forgetting to care for, and nurture, the relationships of those around us.
More specifically, I would assert most of us wives have a habit of putting our vocation as wives on the back burner, and forget to kindle the fire of our marriages.
I think St. Teresa of Calcutta was on to something when she wisely stated the way to peace in the world was to, “Go home and love your family.”
Consider this – what kind of person are you in the morning after everyone has woken up on time (or early), everyone has dressed in clean clothes, everyone has been fed, and everyone gets out of the door on time? When things are going smoothly in the mornings, I know I am much happier and much more relaxed when I meet others out in public.
Now, consider the mornings where everyone overslept, no clean socks can be found, the best you can muster for breakfast is a cheese stick as you usher your children out the door, as you realize you are running five (or more) minutes behind schedule. When things are harried in the morning, I know I present a more frazzled, frustrated mama bear (emphasis on bear).
By that token, I am also beginning to ask myself – how do I draw out the best quality in my spouse? How do I send him off to his day, ready to conquer the world? Do I make sure he feels valued and appreciated? Do I tap into his love language on a regular basis, to ensure he knows how I feel about him?
As we take a moment to try to determine how to best approach being the light of Christ to the outside world, I urge us to also remember those closest to us. Keep in mind the second half of our vocation – the person hopefully journeying with us toward sainthood.
I know I could do better at keeping my vocation front and center of my life. I know I could do better about showing my husband what he means to me, and how appreciative I am of all he contributes to our family.
Lastly, I know I can do better about simply telling the man I love him.
So, will you join me – not just in being a light to Christ to others in the world, but being a light in Christ to your spouse today…
…this life you have been invited to live in together with Christ?