When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
– Matthew 5: 1-12A
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. I don’t know about you but I can easily become discouraged when my faith and beliefs are attacked. The good news is that if we persevere, our reward will be great not in our Earthly life, but in eternity in heaven. We are called to live differently and when doing so we should never feel ashamed- we should rejoice and be glad!
The other night I was at a Life Teen event based upon All Saints Day. One of the CORE members was doing a teaching and asked the crowd what they wanted to be when they grow up? One yelled, “an Opera Singer!” another a sports player and few other teens were called upon. A girl sitting next to me had been raising her hand, and I could tell she was excited about her answer, but the speaker continued on to give the teaching and referencing that we should try to look to the Saints as models for who we would like to become more like. I didn’t want the girl to feel like her answer went unnoticed so I whispered and asked her what she wanted to be. She looked at me with a gigantic smile and said, “a stay at home mom.”
Those who know me could probably guess that her answer made me happy as being a stay at home mom has always been my dream goal as well. During high school and college, discussions would take place and people would laugh at me for wanting to be a mother so much. When I expressed my desire for a spouse, people said I needed to focus on my career and worry about that “marriage stuff” down the line. Some people thought I was crazy for even thinking about children while still in my 20’s and without an established career that requires all of my time and sanity. I battled with this desire for a long time. Is it wrong that I desire a husband and a family this much? Is there something I am missing?
Honestly, I think our culture is missing a lot. We view financial gain as more valuable than the family unit. We view children as a burden to our success. We few spouses as people who hold us back from achieving our goals and being able to go about life as we please. We few stay at home mothers as women who want to find a way out of working. Now I want to be clear, I there is nothing wrong with a vocation other than married life, that is a completely different thing, but the scary observation I’ve made among majority of individuals eventually called to marriage is that they are not viewing the family unit as a way of success. I can’t think of any job more valuable than being a mother or father. Stay at home mothers aren’t lazy losers, they are women devoted to ensuring they are available to take care of the needs of their children and husband.
I am so lucky that my mother stayed at home. I never had to come home from school to an empty house, when I was sick she was always there to nurse me back to health, when I needed a ride to a friends house she was available, when I wanted to take part in an extracurricular activity I knew I would have someone around to provide me with a ride, if I forgot school work or my lunch at home I had someone who could bring it up to me during the day. That is an incredible blessing and I firmly believe our family is stronger because of it. There were so many people who looked down upon her for not having a job, who wondered how she could possibly be spending her day if she wasn’t sitting in a cubicle all day. If it is a possibility, being able to be a stay at home mom is a beautiful gift. But it is not the way of the world.
When we reject the temptation of selfishness, sacrificing unity for unnecessary financial gain and make unconventional decisions for the sake of His Kingdom, we will be rewarded. It may not be now, it may not be here on Earth, but our reward will not go unnoticed by Our Heavenly Father. Of course, we look to the lives of the Saints for examples of Holy Christian living in cultures that are far from Christ.
For a little All Saints Day fun, take this quiz to find out the saint that would like to be your friend! My result was St. John Bosco, who did you get?