A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Made With Love

Posted on: October 28, 2013

After each Mass this past weekend, the Catholic Women’s League in my parish held a bake sale, one of the most popular items being ready-to-bake frozen pies.

Maybe it’s because people bake less these days, or because there were treats for sale that people don’t normally make, or simply because people find they’re hungry after Mass and baked goods call their name. (I know the apple pies called my husband. He’d be the first to admit it.) In any event, there was a…well, a dignified rush to the bake sale tables after our service. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a stampede, except in the case of some of the children. Including my son.

Some might see this baking as just one more task, but since this bake sale provides our CWL with the funds for our ministries within the parish and beyond, I think our bakers see it as a task they do with and out of love.

I wonder whether we apply this standard to the tasks we carry out each day for our families.

I’ll admit it: sometimes I struggle to do tasks with and out of love. After all, who wants to drive to football practice before 8 a.m. several mornings a week, hem pants when sewing straight (even on a machine) is a challenge, or restock toiletries other people have used up? It’s easy for me to feel frustrated or to carry out my tasks and errands grudgingly instead of with a loving attitude.

As the Catechism reminds us in s. 2224, “The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities.” We can set a good example for our children both by handling our own chores and by giving them age-appropriate chores they can accomplish. But s. 2223 also points this out:

Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity and disinterested service are the rule.

We can also set a good example for our children not only by treating one another with kindness and respect but also by serving one another with a loving attitude even when the chore is one we dislike or would rather not take on.

Sure, I receive more thanks for making homemade greeting cards or baking chocolate chip cookies than I do for vacuuming or restocking the liquid soap dispenser or toilet paper holder. And being thanked makes me feel useful and appreciated. But the warm fuzzy feelings shouldn’t be my goal. My aim should be to serve others with and out of love, and that should include my family.

Even if no one notices we can’t write “DUST ME” on the TV screen or that the dresser drawers hold clean socks and underwear.

I pray that we would serve others with and out of love, even in the little things.


Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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