Mary, Homemaker of My Soul

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

“Madonna and Child” (detail) by Sassoferrato

I imagine my soul as a house that Mary makes into a home for her Son.  It’s drafty and dirty and in need of a fresh coat of paint.

Sometimes there’s a recurring sin that gnaws away like termites, slow and steady, almost invisible.  Sometimes there’s a dilemma that requires a huge investment of money and lots of time to repair.  Sometimes there’s a strange smell that means something died under the floorboards.

In this house of my soul, Mary’s the one bringing in daisies and peonies.  Since I don’t have any fancy vases, she puts them in plastic cups, but the humble cups are transformed by the simple act of putting flowers in them.  They’re changed into something beautiful.

She inspires me, with that little act of beauty.  She gives me the courage to look past the dust bunnies and piles of junk, to see the beauty that’s possible, even in me.

When I let Mary into the house of my soul, she comes in with the same energy my mother-in-law does when she comes to help me clean.  They both arrive ready to get to work, and their smiles are contagious.  I can’t help but join them, even though housework is on the top of my Procrastination List.

Homemaking is either popular or despised, depending on your circle.  Either way, it’s necessary.  Maybe you call it cleaning your house, doing your dishes, hugging your children, dating your husband.  For you, it might involve crafts and scheduling, laundry binges and meal planning, gritting your teeth and getting through it.

Whatever homemaking involves for you—whether you’re at home for most of your days or only on the weekends—your goal is the same as Mary’s goal is with my soul: to make it a home for those you love.

As you tackle the tasks and duties that go into making your house a home and you begin to consider those spiritual challenges that you’ve been avoiding, don’t forget to bring the Blessed Mother with you.  Don’t hesitate to let her join you as you do the most mundane chore.

Picture her beside you, humming a song and urging you to bless your efforts by praying and praising God as you work.  Don’t think twice about letting Mary guide you to the next level of spiritual maturity.  Picture her holding your hand as you wince at the pain, hugging you in your struggle.

She’s waiting just outside the door to your soul, ready to pitch in and help you tackle the really big job.  Maybe it’s going to confession.  Or could it be a journey to forgiving that person who wounded you years go?

Go ahead, you can do it!  Let go of your hang-ups and plunge in!


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About the Author

Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom and author whose nose is probably in a book if she's not scraping something off of her shoes. Her latest book is A Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. Check out all of her books at http://sarahreinhard.com/writing/my-books/.

You’re just as likely to find Sarah Reinhard hiding out back with a book as you are to discover her playing in the yard with a few farm animals (or wait--are those her kids?). She’s less enthusiastic about making dinner than she is about eating it, but she loves being a Catholic wife and mom (much though she struggles) and the kids sure are amusing. She’s been happily married for eight years and counting, and she and her husband have three children.

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2 Comments

  1. Sarah, thank you for this beautiful and inspiring article. It is so easy to forget that our Blessed Mother was a wife and a mom who kept a house, raised a child, supported her husband, planned meals, probably fought an ongoing battle with dust and dirt. I love the idea of imagining her next to me as I work. Thank you!

  2. Thanks to my friend Shaune Scott for posting your article Sarah. One does forget to acknowledge our Blessed Mother for all she does for all of us. Thank Sarah for this reminder.

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