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  • Sarah Raad

Cleaning

How I love my Beloved for the love He showers on my mother through me. How I love Him…

Mother's Love (Liz Lemon Swindle)

The other day, as I was lying in bed getting ready to get up and start my day very early in the morning, I had a moment of weakness and I thought to myself – maybe I will not clean this house today...


I knew that on that particular day I had been planning to give the house a good thorough deep-clean – changing sheets on the bed, vacuuming, mopping and dusting… But right there in that moment, bright and early in the morning – before anyone else in my family was awake – I entertained the notion of completely ignoring my plans for cleaning that day. For a good ten minutes, I allowed myself the luxury of fantasising about the possibility of letting everything go and not getting to work with the cleaning that day. After all, with this latest lockdown and everyone stuck in the house all day, the house does not stay clean for long… And nobody would begrudge me a rest if I chose to take it – least of all my family. But then – after I had sighed a great big sigh – I rolled out of bed woke my family and got to work with the cleaning job at hand…


That night, as I went to sleep in my nice clean bed in my nice clean home, I had no regrets about my cleaning that day, and congratulated myself on getting the job done in a couple of hours. In fact, going to sleep in a nice clean home meant that the next day would run more smoothly, because I was well-prepared and things simply got done more efficiently.


I have been reflecting on this cleaning ever since because it reminds me of the practice of faith…


After all, there are often similar – though far more dangerous – temptations in the moments before I start a prayer. In going to Mass – which is a one-hour commitment once a week – I might think, that is too long, or the priest is not my favourite, or I am running too late to both. With the Rosary – which takes only 15 or 20 minutes to pray – I might think, that will take too long, or I cannot remember the mysteries properly, or I will do it later. With the Divine Mercy – which takes only 5 or 8 minutes to say – I might think, it is not 3pm, and so there is just no point in doing this right now. And then there is a simple Our Father, Hail Mary or Glory Be, which can sometimes feel interminable before I start saying them…

And yet – just as with the cleaning – they take no time at all in the scheme of things... After all, a few hours of formal prayer a week can hardly compare to the three hours of agony that Christ endured on the Cross, or the three days of His Passion during His final week of life, or the ministry of His 33 years on this Earth for LOVE of us…

And just as with the cleaning, with formal prayer, I shall not be punished for failing to pray. After all, not praying the Rosary or the Divine Mercy – or even an Our Father, Hail Mary or Glory Be – is rarely, if ever, a sin. And yet – just as with the cleaning – prayer makes everything better! For after prayer, my soul is restored, and I have the strength to continue.


Saint Catherine of Sienna said, “by humble and faithful prayer, the soul acquires, with time and perseverance, every virtue.” And Saint Faustina wrote emotively of her FEAR of facing any day without first receiving Christ in the Blessed Eucharist into her soul... For these Saints understood something of prayer – because they understood that prayer brings Grace and that everything in life is easier to endure with GRACE!


I am living proof of that…


Recently, my family – and most particularly, my mother – have been praying very intently for my health as I await some serious surgery that has been delayed due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have they been praying for my physical health, but they are praying for my mental stamina to continue to I feel the Grace of those prayers during this sometimes-interminable wait! And – through the MIRACLE of Grace – my burden is eased.


That can only be the action of GRACE in my soul…


And how I give thanks for this MERCIFUL God who does this thing for me. For He has used MY weakness to show HIS infinite love.


What an unworthy vessel I am for such a use as this! How dreadfully unworthy of this Grace! How eternally grateful I am to receive it!


For my Beloved sends me Grace even when I do not deserve it – for love, not just of me – but of my mother, who asked Him to do so.


How I love my Beloved for the love He showers on my mother through me. How I love Him…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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