Editor’s Note: The Power of Moms is a website for mothers of all religions (and for mothers who are not necessarily religious). Each Sunday, we post a spiritual essay, and we would love to gather a wide variety of perspectives and ideas. Our goal is to be respectful of all beliefs while simultaneously offering opportunities to share meaningful, spiritual thoughts with one another.
I love going to church on Sunday mornings, although with a one-year-old it is difficult to be fully present while there. As a single mom, I don’t have any assistance when it comes to my son’s care during church . . . and he requires a lot of care.
My son is not a child who sits quietly during church. He is so active that I sometimes break out in a sweat during the service. I spend most Sundays chasing my son in the foyer while Mass goes on in the sanctuary.
I decided that this week would be different. Before we went to into church, my son and I had our own little “come to Jesus” meeting. I explained proper Mass behavior and my expectations. I knew he didn’t understand everything I said, but he did get the gist of it. I was determined that we would stay in the sanctuary for the entire service.
As we headed into church and sat down in the pew, I hoped and prayed for the best.
My son squirmed as much as ever. He was up. He was down. He tried to climb over the back of the pew. He struggled and tried to get out of my arms. He wriggled and tried to get out of my lap. But, moment by moment, we made it through.
I silently celebrated as we hit each milestone. We were present for the first reading. We were actually in the sanctuary for the homily. We were even there for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Then it came time to kneel. I hadn’t thought about how to handle kneeling because we had never made it that far before. I ended up having my son stand next to me on the kneeler and it worked for the most part. I did have to sit down with him at one point, but at least we were still in the sanctuary.
By the time we got to The Lord’s Prayer I was completely exhausted. I knew we were nearing the end, but I wasn’t sure if either of us could make it.
Right before the Sign of Peace my son, who has never been a hugger or a cuddler, decided to hug me tighter and longer than he ever had in his 16 months of life. After the initial shock wore off, I melted into him and hugged him tightly back. Tears came to my eyes and I knew this was a moment I would never forget.
It was not only my son’s love that was palpable in that moment, but it was also God’s love that was palpable in that moment. I felt a sense of peace come over me. It was a peace I had never felt before. Through my son, God was telling me that I was loved, that I was doing a good job as a mother, and that everything was going to be just fine.
We made it through the entire service. I left Mass with a renewed sense of self and purpose. I thanked God for giving me a sense of peace that only He could.
QUESTION: When have you experienced a sense of spiritual peace in your life?
CHALLENGE: Think about a task or project you have been avoiding. Ask for spiritual help as you move forward into the daunting and unknown–and know that you are not alone.