There are seasons of life that seem to drone on. Wake up, feed the kids, change diapers, teach, love, and feed again. Then we get ready for bed and do it all again the next day. I can’t help feeling like I am in the movie Groundhog Day sometimes. In these monotonous times, inevitably, I ask myself, What is the purpose of all of this?
Luckily, our Holy Mother Church gives us an answer to this classic existential question. We are here to know, love, and serve God (Catechism of the Catholic Church § 1). A simple answer, but how do we do this?
Our saint of the day, Saint John of the Cross, used his creative talents in pursuit of God. He sketched the famous depiction of the Crucifixion entitled “Christ from Above” as well as penned various poems which inspired other famous artists.
I remained, lost in oblivion;
My face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself,
Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.
Or another John discussed in today's Gospel, Saint John the Baptist, possessed incredible talents as well. (Matthew 11:11-15) He was the last prophet, he baptized Jesus among many others, and he made a mean locust casserole. He truly did know, love, and serve God. So much so that he now enjoys the spoils of Heaven for all eternity.
How do we use our talents and vocations to fulfill our time on earth as the Church Militant? For me, a lot of my sanctification comes from being a mother. I give of myself over and over each day—even when I think I can’t give anymore (thank you, grace). I train up my children to become saints as well. I strive to model patience, self-sacrifice, moderation, and holiness.
But, motherhood, of course, isn’t the only stairway to Heaven. In what ways can you bring Christ into your workplace? Do you treat your classes and studies as a path to Christ? Can you use your wisdom and years of experience to gently guide another struggling woman? Do you humble yourself when you are in a time of need so others may serve you? Do your creative pursuits glorify the Kingdom of God?
I'm praying for you today, sister, that you find the graces you need for the long work ahead.
The next time you find yourself wondering about the purpose of life, stop and ask God to reveal to you the ways in which you can use every moment of your day to know, love, and serve Him better.
Jenna Hines has a teeny army of children: Ellen, Samuel, Theodore, and Maryn and is married to a bearded fellow named Mike. She is happiest when it is sunny outside and she has an embroidery needle in her hand. You can find out more about her here.