Thursday, September 30, 2010

Interior Freedom and Motherhood

Photo from whatsthatpicture

I have been reading an incredible book called Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe. I am not finished with it yet, but something from the first chapter struck me as being so relevant for moms with small children, I had to share. Fr. Philippe tells a story of when he had the privilege of entering into the cloistered, Carmelite convent where St Therese of Lisieux lived. He had read her writings and had imagined what the cloister, garden, where she spent her life would look like. He was amazed at how ordinary and small everything was. His conclusion is amazing:
Why does Therese's world--humanly speaking, such a narrow and poor one--give the sense of being so ample and spacious? Why does such an impression of freedom leap out from the account she gives of her life in Carmel? Quite simply because Therese loves intensely. She is so on fire with love for God and charity for her sisters, and she carries the Church and the whole world with motherly tenderness
What a beautiful insight not only into motherhood as a cloistered nun, but also into the vocation of married motherhood. Phillipe aptly describes Therese as a "queen with the whole world at her feet" who through love can "travel to every point in the globe where a missionary needs her prayers and sacrifices".

These ideas really struck me to the heart. Instead of feeling sorry for myself because I'm "stuck at home with the baby," I could be, with God's help, transcending and transforming my little space in the world through prayer and love. I love the image of Therese, from her small cloister, giving strength and courage to the missionaries and poor throughout the entire Church.

I definitely recommend this book and another of Philippe's books, Time for God, if you are looking for some spiritual reading.

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