motherhood · religion

The Christian Minimalist

A day of reflection. A time taken away to devote our minds and hearts to God. It sounded like a good idea for me, and in some ways it was… there are no coincidences in God’s kingdom.

But the day of reflection, presented and planned with a lunch to boot felt more forced than supernatural. Squeezing Jesus into a couple of hours like I had no time at all for Him. I was running and panting and just couldn’t catch my breath…

I was excited to hear what the first speaker had to say, but as I have been many times before unimpressed with resumes and the like, I hope for spiritual enlightenment. I don’t know if all people from Harvard are the same, but the chapel felt just as icy old as I imagine some of their hallways are.

It was a plea to do more, to be more. To get involved with this ministry and that. To go through a pre-packaged speech of the perfect life- my parents were Catholic, they made us Catholic, we always loved Jesus, my parents sacrificed everything for Jesus and oh yes we made a holy hour every day at 7 p.m saying the rosary. The words felt more to me like the stories and portrayals of worldly social media, I am the best mom, I have the best child, I have the best house, life is just simply perfect…

And the words made me more edgy than spiritual, more sad than optimistic. The cherry on top of the kitchen sink Sunday were stops at churches on a daily basis to pray before going off to work. I almost heard the harp in the background, but not quite…

You see, I already get up at 5 a.m., by choice, to spend time with my Lord. I’m already involved in ministry. I make a holy hour every week on a Wednesday. I am the prescription for the best Catholic… or am I?

I am exhausted. I have three children all practically the same age and all under 8. I have a nearly full time job. I serve in more ministries than I should and spend more time worrying about how much I am doing for God rather than what I am doing for God. It is something that has plagued me all my life, more, faster quantity. It is the American way, and it seeped into a speech in a seminary on a day of reflection.

There are no women who encourage me to just be a mom. To spend time with Jesus when I can or when he calls. To choose quality over quantity. To live out my vocation…

It’s 6:51 a.m. here and I am headed off to mass as I serve as a Eucharistic minister. I love that, but I don’t love the time. I didn’t go to Harvard but I should know better, I have seven years of higher education, and some pretty diplomas, but I know nothing…

A holy hour is not about an hour and ministry is not just in a church. Committees are not in the bible and neither are people giving me advice when they do not have young children or pay someone else to take care of them (not that there is anything wrong with that). As Christian mothers, we should be encouraging each other to take on our primary role, the one that we know for certain is God-given, instead of giving into the pressures of the message that “more is better.”

So I am becoming a Christian minimalist. I am letting go of the things that don’t matter, the ones I don’t feel moved by. I am letting go of my ideas that belong in the world and not in the church. I am redefining myself in the light of Christ rather than in the darkness of the world.

 

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6 thoughts on “The Christian Minimalist

  1. I just listened to a podcast called the Catholic Man Show. It discusses that there is a Christian virtue of Leisure that is often lost on our modern culture. Leisure is often seen as the opposite of work; however, leisure shouldn’t be viewed in the negative, but rather in the positive . Our work shouldn’t be the entire focus, after all, leisure is the end. Leisure is be perfect sense of Heaven and the beatific vision, prayer is one of the perfect examples of leisure. The mass, in a sense, but not entirely is the a great example of leisure being part of the body of Christ and joining fully together in communion with one another.

    Take heart.

    Release the world’s yoke and place Christ’s on your shoulder instead. It is easy and light.

    Liked by 1 person

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