A Call to Sanctity
Most of us Filipino Catholics did not choose to be Catholics. We were born into Catholic families, baptised a Catholic shortly afterward, received the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion, and later on the Sacrament of Confirmation. Some of us even studied in Catholic schools, colleges, and universities where religion was among the major subjects and it was expected of students to learn, understand, and practise the Roman Catholic faith. Whether we truly believed or not.
At different points in our lives, we have been touched by the Holy Spirit and we consciously chose to believe and practise our faith.
For those of us called to the vocation of marriage, the sacrament opens up a clear path to holiness for husband and wife to live an enduring, lifelong, faithful, and exclusive union. Despite the challenges and tribulations, and because of them.
The second purpose of marriage is to bear and rear children. Although today’s society permits and expects fathers to take equal role in parenting, we mothers are still the primary keeper of the home. More so here in New Zealand, where nannies and house cleaners charge an arm and a leg.
Someone once aptly said that “a mother’s work is never done” and rightly so. Among the many things we oversee, the most important of which would be the character formation of our children. As such, we lead by example. We strive to become better persons, better wives, better Christians so that we can be the best mothers we can be whose children will become saints one day. Even when we fail and make mistakes, most specially when we do and atone for them. Daunting? Nah. Challenging! With eternal, heavenly rewards.
Yes, yes, more easily said than done. But quite possible. Besides, we have a clear advantage in our quest. We have two great allies in rearing children: (1) The Blessed Virgin Mary, who both serves as our model and intercedes for us; and (2) the Holy Child Jesus, whose smile alone calms our anxieties, extends our patience, and fills our hearts to the brim.
[Note: Today marks the 10th death anniversary of my mother, Esther, whom I emulate and yearn to see in heaven again someday.]