Inspired by the Gospel according to Matthew: 5:1-12a.
All Saints Day is one of my favorites. I'm convinced some of the greatest Christians that have ever lived are people whom no one has ever heard of--like Saint Thérèse if her sister had never made her write down her memoirs. Saints are just like all the other human beings, only they reach a point in their lives where they are no longer concerned with the approval of others; their sole concern is with Jesus' voice of approval. And they get it. Completely.
Speaking of which, there are a lot of conflicting voices and opinions these days about how to best raise our children, aren't there?
Our mothers, other mothers, experts (the proverbial "they"), Facebook friends, random people in the grocery store, etc. And then there is Christ in His Church.
Which of these voices do we listen to? Whose approval are we seeking?
We can't make everyone happy. In fact, if we are genuinely following Christ, then it is pretty much a guarantee that we will not please everybody. He definitely didn't, and He knew His followers wouldn't either. So He probably figured we'd need some encouragement in this, fragile creatures that we are.
"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness," He says, "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Thank You, Jesus! I mean, that's what we're really after anyway, right? We have been given charge of raising the next generation of people God calls His very own, and there is eternity in that. So it's okay. Let some of the other moms compete in the ranks for the cool one, the trendy one, the has-it-all-together one, the never-gets-older one, or whatever whatever. I would like to be among the ones that get to call the Kingdom of Heaven "theirs", please and thank you.
Heaven. With God and all His saints. That's really what this whole motherhood thing is all about.
My spirit is poor from exhaustion, I'm mourning the brokenness of our culture, the weight of my motherly responsibility has me all meek and humbled before You, and I am craving Your righteousness. In the circumstances and conflicts I face each day, I need your help to be merciful, clean in heart, and a peacemaker. As I seek Your face, and learn to live the way You want me to, help me to lift up those who try to discourage me. May Your voice of approval be the only one I'm after, and may my heart towards others be guided by a heart towards you.