Today we will focus on mercy as it applies to motherhood in the Spiritual Act of Mercy: Bear Wrongs Patiently.
Our little holiness-makers love to help us grow in patience. At the beginning of our parenting journey, we are sleep deprived, overwhelmed, and unsure. Just when we think we have it down, we might start over with a new baby or reach a whole new phase of development and wonder why we ever thought we knew anything. Children constantly test our patience. But where this virtue becomes hardest to live out is in being patient with ourselves. The words of St. Francis can bring us comfort: “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them—every day begin the task anew.” There is no greater task than motherhood, and it is so crucial that we have the freedom in Christ to begin anew day after day.
When we do not bear our children’s wrongs against ourselves patiently, we tend to conclude that we are terrible mothers and that God made a mistake when he entrusted us with their souls. That is always the devil talking! You are the first person to bear the wrongs of your children. They learn how to love, forgive, and persevere within the safety of a family. Their first offenses are toward you and their siblings. And we get to be their first example of patience, forgiveness, and mercy. The structure of the family is not accidental, and you were not made their mother by accident. This gorgeous, messy, beautiful, and trying domestic church is one of God’s greatest gifts. He is infinite in his ability to be patient with us, and it is out of that love that we can be patient with our children–teaching them to bear wrongs patiently within the family and then seeing it resonate throughout their lives.