Monday, February 21, 2011

Doing Humble Work

"We must not drift way from the humble works, because these are the works nobody will do. It is never too small. But God, being Almighty, sees everything as great.. Very humble work, that is where you and I must be. For there are many people who can do big things. But there are very few people who will do the small things." Mother Teresa.

For the past two years, I've really whined about not doing the "big stuff" for God. To be a Carmelite (and a sane mother of four) I had to quit a lot of church activities. I quit attending "Women of Prayer" Meetings. I quit the purificator committee. I quit Vacation Bible School and folding plastic bags for the Food Bank. I quit going to Adoration at a regular time and having a predictable Daily Mass schedule.

To rub salt in the wound, I sinned with a bit of spiritual envy last month. To celebrate receiving his red hat my beloved Cardinal passed out "Manifesting the Kingdom of God" to people doing "hidden work" for Christ. On the cover of the Catholic Standard was a picture of a Carmelite from my old church receiving recognition for her work at the Spanish Immigration Center.

I joked with my husband "the surest way to NOT get a Manifesting the Kingdom of God award is to stay at home to better care for your own biological children."

Yeah, envy sucks! It's why God put it on the big "No No list" of the 10 commandments.

So weeks after this wound, God has been planting something different in my heart. Like maybe a big "official" volunteering posts are not in my future.

Today, Jon read our "nun mail" our monthly letter from the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration. On the bottom was a handwritten note "yours is the first picture we've ever received back of the medals!" As in the picture of Baby Tess that I slapped in my Valentine Greeting to the Sisters turned out to be important. That photo was the first time the Sister ever saw a child wearing the miraculous medals that they lovingly hand make for each New Baby Card.

How many hundreds of medals had those dear Sisters passed out over the years? Now, those dear Nuns have a picture of my Tess up in their convent in a place of honor. That photo op was a reward for a hard-working cloistered Sister. (It also means even MORE prayers for my cute Baby Tess.)

With the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I helped make a Nun's Day all all because I had a little extra time on my hands from staying at home, doing my humble work for God.

Mother Teresa reminds us that God has many volunteers for the big, "important" jobs. He lacks cheerful hands for the more "humble" jobs.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!


  1. And thank you for reminding me that MY thank you... or recognition of someone else's work... may be the only "attaboy" that person gets in this life.

    I got a small dose of that when I was traveling last fall.

    We stopped at a rest area and the women who clean it just happened to be in there at the time. The restroom was REALLY clean, and I told them that it was amazing what they had been able to do. That woman was so thankful to hear someone say that!

  2. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I love this story.

    The hidden vocations are so sublime.

    Please keep writing and reflecting, dear sister in Christ, you speak to me!

    Wow, on that medal and picture. So much wow!

    And, the hand of God all over your life.

    Love your words about envy. So true.

    Great Love. Small things.

  3. Amen! I am at a big law firm downtown this week and cannot wait to run home to my hidden life as a wife and mommy!

    If I get to adopt, can I request a medal from the Poor Clares?

  4. That's wonderful! My youngest daughter is named Claire. :)

  5. Living for the Lord, I'd get those Poor Clares praying for you adoption discernment right now! Send them a note with your prayer request. Here's there website:

  6. Thanks so much Abigail! I stopped at Adoration briefly yesterday and wished I could have stayed to pray longer, but I needed to get home to my vocation ;-)

    It occurred to me to touch the shoulder of the dear older lady I see there all the time and I whispered, "would you kindly pray for a special intention of mine for the rest of your hour?"

    She smiled and squeezed my hand and said, "Of course I will my dear!"

    Thank you Lord for the Communion of Saints, so I can "reap the benefits" of prayers from older ladies who no longer have little children to prepare dinner for and the Brides of Christ who dedicate their lives to prayer!