Today is one of those days when social media can make Catholic women everywhere feel like losers before they’re even done with their morning coffee. “My daughter didn’t wake everyone up with breakfast on a tray while wearing a traditional, handmade Saint Lucy costume with real lighted candles on her head! I don’t even know who Saint Lucy is or why she has candles on her head! I don’t even have a daughter!”
It’s not a big deal but it can feel like an epic fail, or at least it did to me. In my effort to do better I sat my kids down a few years ago to feed them traditional Santa Lucia buns while I told them the story of how Saint Lucy had her eyes gouged out and was martyred. I thought it was a complete success and I gloried in my excellent mothering. That is until a family viewing of "The Nativity Story," during which my five-year-old son asked when the woman was going to lose her eyes.
No matter how many times I explained that Saint Lucy was not in this story he couldn’t move on. As the Virgin Mary was about to birth our Lord and Savior in a humble stable, he asked again, "Is she gonna lose her eyes?"
“NO ONE LOSES THEIR EYES IN THIS MOVIE!” I responded.
Unlike me, the Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness (Psalm 145:8). The Lord’s motivation for all He does is love while my motivation is often applause, frustration, or envy, and when I fail my response is, obviously, seriously lacking.
The lesson I learned on that Saint Lucy’s Day is that Christ should be my only standard, and on this Feast of Saint Lucy, whose name means light, my family celebrates the True Light who has come into the darkness, including the darkness of my insecure, jealous heart.
Learn more about Saint Lucy's life, the origins of the feast day, and the traditions here.
Bonnie Engstrom is a writer, baker, speaker, and homemaker. She, her husband, and seven children live in central Illinois, and her son’s alleged miraculous healing through the intercession of Venerable Fulton Sheen was submitted to the Vatican for Sheen’s beatification. Bonnie pretends she has a green thumb, bakes a fantastic chocolate chip cookie, loves naps and chai tea, and blogs. You can find out more about her here. She is the author of the Blessed Conversations Mystery: Believe study found here.