Motherhood is one joy, one quandary after another. The daily life of being a Catholic mom involves moment-by-moment considerations. For instance, what do you do when motherhood calls but you are coping with suffering? Are you interested in reading books that offer answers to personal self-fulfillment but you question their value because they re not Catholic? By chance do you want another child but your husband says no?
These questions are diverse, but in the book Motherhood Matters: Inspirational Stories, Letters, Quotes & Prayers for Catholic Moms, author Dorothy Pilarski connects the multifaceted dots we call motherhood.
Dorothy, a mother of two teenagers, has been there and done that on a range of experiences including being an employee and business owner to scrapbooking and eating. I was out of breath just reading of all her experiences but suffice to say, she’s one of us — all of us. Dorothy has opinions to go with her experiences and is adept at making it uplifting and fascinating within sound bites that even a busy mother can easily digest. They are morsels of inspiration and tidbits of knowledge. Her collection makes you think and makes you feel good at the same time — the ultimate in multitasking.
Rather than just tell you this is good stuff, I will show you.
In A Little Bit About Suffering, Dorothy considers all the suffering she has endured over the years. She considered some of the ways she suffered and asked herself if there were times it could have been avoided. She concluded that sometimes suffering results from our own sinfulness. “For example, if you lie to someone and later got found out, the consequences would probably cause you to suffer,” she writes. The remedy, Dorothy points out, is the Sacrament of Reconciliation in which she has experienced consolation, healing and joy.
Then there is the type of suffering when someone sins against us through his or her bad behavior. The issue then is, how to respond in a way that will alleviate pain. She explains that it’s important to seek the advice of others you trust, especially a spiritual director, then to follow their good counsel. “At the same time, you must focus on keeping a clear conscience, keeping your heart pure and loving and staying in union with our Lord, no matter what.”
That means resisting the temptation to retaliate; “I’ve done that,” she writes. “I’ve allowed someone else’s sin to lead me into sin. It’s like committing spiritual suicide.” But over time, she shares that she has gotten stronger and returns to confession to stay spiritually strong and pure.
Another type of suffering she shares was a time when she felt lost and unsure of what God wanted her to do with her life. The spiritual anguish was remedied by clarifying what her duties were in each of her roles: wife, mother, daughter, etc.. She describes serving others in this way as not only clarifying as to finding a purpose but also a great remedy to suffering.
Dorothy points out that sometimes rebelliousness to the Church can cause needless suffering. “Living in disobedience can cause the pain of spiritual frustration or stagnations.”
When it comes to suffering, Dorothy shares that she has gotten to the point of responding, “Oh, it looks like the Lord wants to spend some extra time with me. Our Lord wants to teach me something.”
In Motherhood Matters, all of Dorothy’s snippets are thoughtful, uplifting and very easy to read. If you have thought it or experienced it, so has Dorothy. It is just the thing for any mother who revels in her role as a mother but only has small spaces to fill in with reading.
You can purchase the book at Dorothy’s blog.
Patti Maguire Armstrong and her husband have ten children. She is an award-winning author and was managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’s Amazing Grace Series. She has appeared on TV and radio stations across the country. Her latest books, Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and children’s book, Dear God, I Don’t Get It are both available now.
Looking for a Catholic Speaker? Check out Patti’s speaker page and the rest of the ICL Speaker’s Bureau.
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- SATURDAY EDITION | Big Pulpit | August 10, 2013