Woman and wife.  Homemaker and home educator.  Nurse and mediator.  Catechist and chef.  Seamstress and solace-giver…

And on and on…

It’s sometimes exhausting, when one considers the many responsibilities that the vocation of wife and mother entails. To be all things to all people…at least to those people in your care.  Yet…there is such comfort, indeed a peace and joy that surpasses the allure of a life beyond the walls of kitchen and hearth…

It is readily found when embracing a virtuous life and living that life in modesty and simplicity.   When seeking something greater for others, rather than one’s self.   In my own life, it has been the exchange of high heels and lipstick for tangled apron strings and smudgy kisses from a band of angels with dirty faces…exchanging the praise and adulation of worldly accomplishments for the love, affection and honey-where-are-my-sock moments of domestic bliss in the sacramental union of Holy Matrimony.

It is seizing the pure joy, giving the bone-tired-poured-out-as-a-libation-kind-of-love that our Lady gave everyday of Her life on this earth…

It is living life as the lady of the house…and remembering to live the very definition of the word “lady.”  To be:

A well-mannered and considerate woman with high standards of proper behavior. A woman regarded as proper and virtuous…

Ah…that there were more “ladies!” That I were a better example, looking always to she, who lived her entire life in the shadow of the Holy Cross.  I fall so short, so many days…yet despite those failings, the peace of living as “lady of the house” still pervades every down-turn, every stumble.  Our Lady is ever ready to lift me up in prayer, to help me, through her Motherly intercession, live out my vocation as long as I continue to will it…and I do!  I will to be like the Mother, who is like the Son, who with Father and the Holy Spirit are ever present with all the graces I need to work out my salvation “with fear and trembling…”

With fear and trembling…and love.

The Housewife’s Prayer

by Blanche Mary Kelly

Lady, who with tender word
Didst keep the house of Christ the Lord,
Who didst set forth the bread and wine
Before the Living Wheat and Vine,
Reverently didst make the bed
Whereon was laid the Holy Head
That such a cruel pillow prest
For our behoof, on Calvary’s crest;
Be beside me while I go
About my labors to and fro.
Speed the wheel and speed the loom,
Guide the needle and the broom,
Make my bread rise sweet and light,
Make my cheese come foamy white,
Yellow may my butter be
As cowslips blowing on the lea.
Homely though my tasks and small,
Be beside me at them all.
Then when I shall stand to face
Jesu in the judgment place,
To me thy gracious help afford,
Who are the Handmaid of the Lord.