Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Tedium of Daily Life

There are two very basic facts about the spiritual life that are true for every Christian. First, we are all called to be saints, and second, saints are made in the tedium of daily life. Even the martyrs were made in their daily struggles. The virtues cultivated in their daily lives enabled them to be heroic in the hour of martyrdom.
~Stacy Mitch, Courageous Virtue: A Bibly Study on Moral Excellence for Women~

I'm often most challenged by the smallest of duties throughout my day. The moments unseen by the majority, except maybe those closest to me, yet seen always by God. Sometimes I forget those moments count, and they count a lot.

Over the years I'm realizing more and more how valuable and precious those moments truly are. In fact, the name of this blog is inspired greatly by that notion of how important those smallest of duties and moments of our days really are. For certainly, if we are faithful in those things, we are faithful in much.

In practice though, it is much less appealing and much more tiring. Personally my daily life tends to be monotonous. It's the same thing everyday. It isn't too difficult per se, most anyone can be a mom, cook, and clean, yet nevertheless it requires great effort and can be horribly draining. I struggle with impatience. It's tedious and mundane. I don't want to be misunderstood, my day is also filled with more love and joy than I could have ever possibly imagined. I get to be at home with my children, and that's the best kind of routine I can think of, yet still the days can be long, loud, and certainly with a lack of grandeur. My daily offerings seem small. 

Yet, is any offering really that small? The size of the offering isn't what God cares about, He cares about it only in reference to ourselves and our hearts and our own abilities. In fact, the best offering I can give God in a day is to remain faithful in the small duties He has given me. For our days are filled with those little tasks, and all of a sudden, we've offered God our entire day. 

As I cooperate with God and work on not only completing my tasks, but doing so with love, joy, patience, self control, mercy, grace, steadfastness, confidence in God, strength found in God, trust, hope, selflessness, etc, it becomes clear that God is using those tasks to make me more holy and like Himself. There are many opportunities to grow and love within a single day. Those opportunities are sometimes easily missed because they can seem so much a part of the routine of our daily lives, yet they are so very important! 

Our lives for the most part are made up of little things, and by these our character is to be tested...Little duties carefully discharged, little temptations earnestly resisted with the strength God supplies, little sins crucified; these all together help to form that character which is to be described not as popular or glamorous, but as moral and noble. 
~Fulton J. Sheen~

I repeat, it is necessary that your foundation consist of more than prayer and contemplation. If you do not strive for the virtues and practice them, you will always be dwarfs. And, please God, it will be only a matter of not growing, for you already know that whoever does not increase decreases. I hold that love, where present, cannot possibly be content with remaining always the same.
~Saint Teresa of Avila~