We are offering a series of fifteen posts on living out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in motherhood.
Today is our fifth in a series of fifteen posts and focuses on the inherent mercy of motherhood, Visit the Imprisoned.
Hopefully you will never have to visit your children in prison. Obviously, for some people this is a reality, but for most it is not. So how does this work of mercy apply to you as a mother? In the Gospel of Luke 4:18, Our Lord, quoting the prophet Isaiah says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free…” We are all in danger of being imprisoned to sin, and Christ has come to deliver us from that sin. As a mother, you are constantly training your children to live contrary to their nature: to live out the love and mercy of Christ. This starts with you. Your primary task is to point your children toward Christ. You have them baptized to free them from original sin, and then you train them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Every time you endure a new tantrum or feel like quitting and just letting your child be a jerk because you feel so weary, remember that you are the hands of Christ; you love this tantrum-throwing, selfish child enough not to leave him that way. You are showing him incredible mercy and love by not leaving him imprisoned to his selfishness.
As your children transition from toddler to child, and child to teenager, and teenager to adult, you are always mindful of the potential for them to become imprisoned in new sin, and you continue to love them enough to correct, to offer truth, and most especially, to pray for them. This is all a beautiful act of mercy.
Christ is always using this vocation to refine us and bring us closer to his Sacred Heart. May we look at the sin and flaws of our children with the same mercy and compassion Christ has looked at ours. How merciful has the Lord been to you? We can be surprised by the ways our children’s sin and selfishness can wound us; parenting offers us endless opportunities to forgive. We love them too much to leave them imprisoned to sin just as our dear Lord loves us too much to leave us imprisoned in ours.