Monthly Archives: August 2013

Holy Work


“If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.  If you are blamed, you won’t be discouraged; if anyone calls you a saint, you won’t put yourself on a pedestal.”  ~Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Holy Work

My ears adjust, repressurize
in response to the forty-fifth high-pitched scream of the day
as I scrape uneaten bits of lettuce and broccoli from the dinner plates.

“This is holy work,” I tell myself,
my face close to the trash can, the odor
of old banana peels and used diapers mixing and wafting upward.

My husband stops home for a quick dinner
and I tell him how I’ve not yet lost my mind;
then he heads back to the office and I lose my mind.

The little ones pick and poke and pester each other,
and I add my screeches to their screeching and everything stops –
“I’m sorry,” I tell them, stooping down.  “I could have said that nicely.”

Almost before I ask, they forgive me and we are hugging;
they are giving me all of their love, so I am giving them all of mine –
this is holy work.

Prayer for Our Family (by Bl. Teresa of Calcutta)


Heavenly Father, You have given us a model of life in the Holy Family of Nazareth.  Help us, O loving Father, to make our family another Nazareth where love, peace, and joy reign.  May it be deeply contemplative, intensely Eucharistic, and vibrant with joy.  Help us to stay together in joy and sorrow through family prayer.  Teach us to see Jesus in the members of our family, especially in His distressing disguises.  May the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus make our hearts meek and humble like His and help us to carry out our family duties in a holy way.  May we love one another as God loves each of us, more and more each day, and forgive each other’s faults as You forgive our sins.  Help us, O loving Father, to take whatever You give and to give whatever You take with a big smile.  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of our joy, pray for us.  Saint Joseph, pray for us.  Holy Guardian Angels be always with us, guide and protect us.




I stand in the kitchen;
oil sizzles in the pan, dishes clink on the counter.

He wraps his baby arms around my leg,
chest and cheek pressing against knee and thigh.

“I la loo, I la loo, Mommy.”
I am his tree, rooted in his new soil.

I lie on the floor;
legs hover above the carpet, back lifts away from the ground.

He climbs his baby body on top of me,
hands and knees on ribcage and belly.

“I la loo, I la loo, Mommy.”
I am his path, worn in his new ground.

I kneel, hips over heels, near the piano;
clothes stack up neatly, towels wait in a heap.

He plops his baby bottom on my lap,
Legs on legs, hands on hands.

“I la loo, I la loo, Mommy.”
I am his rock, passing ancient time on his new land.

He doesn’t know it yet, but he is kingdom-seeking;
his is a loamy garden, sandy, full of loose clay and black dirt.

He learns love,
and he loves.