(forgive me if I am using bad grammar in my title. I have never figured out when to use “whom” appropriately.)
It has struck me that I’m not the only one doing the work of raising others to sainthood in this family. In my head, of course I know that as a family, we are each working together to get each other to heaven. Don’t we all “know” that? It sounds so nice and noble when we talk about our vocations, our little domestic churches…the words are pretty. Talk is just talk, though, until our talk comes from the heart, from lived experience. And you know what? On my walk this Lent, Jesus has seen fit to teach me that I’m not just raising, I’m being raised.
Raised by my kids. Raised by my husband. I am no closer to heaven than they, and if it were not for them, who would be in the business of raising me to sainthood? I don’t say this disparagingly about them. They are incredible souls, each with great gifts from God. That is what I mean, really. Incredible souls show us the path to holiness, show us more joys of Christian living, show us that we don’t really know all there is to being people of God. I am learning from them! I am learning better how to live by following my own family. My 3 year old wakes up singing, and from him I learn joy. My 5 year old speaks to God and listens for His voice, which she actually hears. My 7 year old lives with an intense passion, and is asking to be able to receive the Sacrament of Penance again before Easter (we just went last week!). My husband is faithful in-spite of his own “dark night of the soul”, and thanks God daily for his job (a job which is less than ideal and full of great stressors, but a job providing for our family). My 2 year old is silly, deeply devoted to his siblings, and smiles with his whole being. They are raising me, teaching me about growing in faith, love, understanding.
Now I am realizing from my heart this truth about “the family helps each member to get to heaven.” I am living it, by way of the humbling experiences each day in which I learn from my children and my husband. We are raising each other towards sainthood, daily, through our simple lives.