We are offering a series of fifteen posts on living out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in motherhood.
Today is our fourth in a series of fifteen posts and focuses on the inherent mercy of motherhood, Clothe the Naked.
“I can’t do big things. But I want all I do, even the smallest thing, to be for the greater glory of God.” – St. Dominic Savio
If you have been reading these Wednesday posts on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, you are probably beginning to see that these works of mercy are an integral part of your daily life. These are often little chores that we do not give much credence to, and perhaps they seem like the bare minimum, but when Christ spoke about these works to his disciples, I am certain he had mothers in mind. Today we are talking about clothing the naked.
If you have little ones, you feel like you spend half of your life doing this. I remember the years when all of my children were young, and I felt like there were little naked people constantly running around! We take care and concern in clothing our children, but have you ever stopped and considered that you are acting out of mercy when you do it? Christ calls us to clothe the naked and he knew that mothers do this the most. We keep them warm; we keep them safe from the elements. When they are tiny, we wrestle their little arms and legs into onesies, and as they get older we try to keep them in clothes they like, in clothes that make them feel confident and understood. If you have teenage girls, you are trying to keep them clothed in dignity and modesty while still being flattering and cool.
When we clothe our children, we are keeping them safe and cared for so that when, like Job, we teach them to clothe themselves in righteousness, they can recognize that our clothing them was an act of love inspired by Christ who loved them first.
It can be an exhausting and expensive task to keep our children clothed. It requires much of us in time and planning. I know in our home it takes an entire day when the seasons change, and clothes for seven children need to be shifted from storage to closet. We are always organizing and making room for the seasons of life, the changes in weather, and the ever-changing seasons of growth in our children’s bodies. But we can accomplish this with joy by uniting it to Christ; we can imagine ourselves clothing him, and we can rejoice at the opportunity for doing so.