“I do….to the struggles. I do…to living selflessly for each other. I want you to build a wall of love that nothing can tear down. This wall that will surround these five blessings and give them security, peace, and endless love”….
The day started off innocent enough…I woke up one Sunday with the desire to see the kids hit confession. Our family happens to be blessed with a local Shrine that offers confession for the 15-20 minutes before their 2:30 Mass. It’s super convenient to watch my three oldest hit the confessional and come out beaming. This Sunday, which I speak of, I did an examination of conscience with the kiddos while the hubby drove. Nothing super enlightening….your basic review of the 10 commandments with gentle “nudges” as to the areas that I saw some of them struggling with…haha.
That sacrament that often we forget about. A sacrament, all too often underutilized, in our struggle to be Christ-like in a fallen world.
Our family would love to say that Confession is a monthly commitment like our other activities but it often isn’t. It can be anywhere between a month and a half to three months before our family goes or realizes how long it’s been.
But this time around, this little Polish priest had this unsuspecting mom crying through the first 20 minutes of Mass…with two little words….
As Mass was about to start, I saw the kids to our pew, after their confessions, and ducked into the confessional myself.
Alright….clear my brain…..
Frustration. Quick to anger with the kiddos. Laziness. Being Judgmental
These guys knew that they were the usual culprits…haha.
As I started to roll out these guys, the priest stopped me at quick to anger with the kiddos.
“Oh…so you are a mom. How many kids?”
“Five?! Wow….you are a blessed and busy momma. And what are their ages?”
12, 10, 9, 6, 4…..
“Oh my goodness. So you are also a hard working mom.”
(insert a few tears….that was nice to hear)
“Let me ask you….do you have a good husband?”
(wait….what’s going on here. I’m just trying to remember which sins to confess and you are distracting me. And why do I feel so emotionally overwhelmed right now?)
(choking back tears) Yes…he’s a really good man. Great husband…great father….
“Then you have everything that you need…you just forget. I want you to work on the greatest strength that you have in trying to be a mom. You need to work on the strong bond of your marriage. This will give you the grace to raise your kids.”
(tears really flowing now….totally blindsided by his tender words that are hitting me so hard) um…ok.
(wait…..this is really heavy stuff….but also so simple)
“I want you to remember your wedding vows. Remember that day? Remember when you said I do? I want you to wake up everyday and say that. I want you to talk to your husband and I want you to remind him, lovingly, of those same two words and I want him to wake up thinking about the same, I do. I do….to the struggles. I do…to living selflessly for each other. I want you to build a wall of love that nothing can tear down. This wall that will surround these five blessings and give them security, peace, and endless love. This is where you will find the grace to be the gentle, loving mother, like Our Lady. ”
(searching for tissues in my purse, as I’m just a mess of tears. He can hear me sobbing.)
The only words I could muster up were…“Thank you..”
I wiped those tears and they just kept coming as I found the pew with my little family. I looked down at those five faces who I’ve been entrusted with and felt the hub’s arm run along my back and around me for a tight squeeze.
God has given such wisdom to our priests.
Thank you to that little polish priest for reaching into my heart and reminding me of the graces that God has already given me.
Thank you Lord for showing us the importance of the marital bond and the blessings that it bestows on the children.
Thank you Lord for reminding me that you are truly present in the sacrament of Confession and that you know all my sins before I bring them before you.
You desire this little heart to seek you in the “little ways” like St. Therese of Lisieux.
I pray that you find yourself in Confession soon….and that the Lord speaks truth in your heart.
But for today….find the “I do” that the Lord is requiring of you.