Caught In the ‘Catholic Mom’ Vortex

New Year's Day is the secular world's equivalent of Ash Wednesday: the day to resolve great changes and repent. Not of moral failings mind you, but of sins against secular demigods- such as 'perfect physical appearance', 'high productivity' and 'smooth efficiency'. If weight loss and exercise were not the foremost New Year's resolution; then the only possible rival would be the need to get organized and be more productive.

Catholic bloggers are not immune to this cultural tsunami. We examine ourselves a few days before the year turns and then promptly drop to our knees wailing lamentations of 'goals not accomplished', 'houses not thoroughly cleaned', and 'insufficient income streams'. Those who don't post, but merely comment; fling ashes over their heads and rend their bathrobes sobbing; "me too - mea culpa!"

[Disclosure: I am quite new to the blogosphere and still getting my bearings; and seem to have been 'Spirit guided' into a 'network of consciousness' which I'll loosely label - 'Catholic Moms Vortex'. OK, I'm not a mom… (Nevertheless, I am married to one and she's the greatest)...I admit I'm a dad…and even a granddad. But for heavens sakes, I'm trying to stay in the Catholic realm and only know how to explore via 'links or blogrolls'. Thus I keep getting bounced around into this never ending universe of Catholic Maternity.]

Now being a lay person professed to a third order [please read my welcome post] I'm really interested in how my fellow lay folk experience God in their lives and so I seek to share the Spirit. Therefore, I bounce around these blogs expecting to discern the Lord's promptings and interact. When I post on my own site I try to be very considered…when I comment on your site I'm more apt to shoot from the hip.

So what have I observed in the 'Catholic Mom Vortex'? Well they're quite committed to their families and desperately trying to get God 'right'. They're doing the impossible with tears and grace…and giving each other spiritual direction; for better or for worse. They're the Church's renaissance; it's quite evident. I am totally convinced that the Holy Spirit is raising up a new generation of renewal; and for that I give God thanks and praise!

My second observation is this: everyone has a 'full plate': All have a litany of family and extended relations, duties, and activities: enough to choke a horse. The number one question discussed in the 'vortex' is where does God fit in with all these elements of daily life?

The answer: God doesn't fit on the plate - God is the plate. Or to state it more accurately: our relationship with God underlies and affects every aspect of our life. Hence, a small but consistent amount of time and attention devoted to Christian formation works wondrous results.

As a useful matter, it's helpful to discern what color or glaze your 'plate' is. This is called a primary spirituality. Mine is distinctively Franciscan; and to know which spiritual family you fall into will propel your spiritual life. I promise to take this up as a practical matter in a future post.

Finally, what of the rate of change that we observe in our spiritual life? Oh, how Catholic Moms torment themselves with this one. I wrote a post months ago which addressed this very topic: Unhurriedness is One of God's Characteristics. Hope you can find time to read it.


Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

This is a really good post. I especially like the part about the plate! That is so comforting, and it makes so much sense.

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

This is a great post. I'm very interested to hear more about discerning your primary spirituality!

Anonymous said...

You have heard the "Mom's Cry". Mom's worry so deeply about conveying the faith to their families. It can become an obsession, forgetting or neglecting the fact that He sends the Spirit to complete what we have begun.
It is when we see Him as the plate that life's purpose takes hold.

Denise said...

Being a Catholic Mom, like every other vocation, requires great humility. Great stress results when we forget that we are instruments in God's hands and channels of His Grace. We are called to cooperate with God, not shoulder the whole burden alone. I love your concept that when our plate is full, we have to remember that God is the plate. With regards to the "rate of change" issue, let me offer you my post on pizza dough spirituality.

Michelle said...

Would that be a brown plate with a rope motif?

Nice post!

Milehimama @ Mama Says said...

If you are looking to jump ship from the Catholic Moms vortex, go to these Catholic Dads:


To get you started!