“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (Jn 15:13)
This is a saying of Christ that many mothers may feel they are putting into practice — perhaps not to the letter, but not far from it either! Moms often have a sense of sacrifice that can be exhausting when it is disconnected from love, devoid of meaning, or badly balanced. When we’re at the end of our rope, diving into the Bible can be a source of peace and consolation. Here are 6 verses that can help tired moms to find spiritual rest.
It’s not always easy to think about turning to the Lord when you’re exhausted and flustered. It’s not the first thought that comes to mind. However, the psalmist invites us to turn to the Lord and ask him to show himself, to send a sign of his love. If we remain attentive, we will undoubtedly be able to welcome the graces that the Lord sends.
2Be sure of the Lord’s love
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38)
At difficult moments, we sometimes doubt the Lord’s presence or even his love for us – or we tell ourselves that we don’t deserve this love and we feel guilty. But St. Paul is clear and decisive: nothing can separate us from the love of God, except ourselves by refusing it. In Christ’s words to St. Faustina, the Polish nun known as the “Apostle of Divine Mercy,” he proclaims his infinite mercy to the whole world: “My Heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy, graces flow out upon the whole world. No soul that has approached Me has ever gone away unconsoled.” (Diary of St. Faustina)
3Hand over your burden to the Lord
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28)
It’s one thing to let ourselves be consoled by the Lord, another to unload on Him all the burden of our sorrows, our difficulties, and our weaknesses. God asks only one thing: that we let him act in our lives. This invitation from Christ is something we find in the psalms: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Ps 54). However, this requires an act of abandonment and trust in God that is not necessarily easy. Still, when we’ve done all that is humanly possible, it’s up to the Lord to act according to his will.
4Trust in the Lord
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
It’s hard to believe that all things work together for good when everything is going wrong. How can we imagine that illness, trials, and difficulties will lead to greater good? And what does this greater good do for us, when we’re simply asking for small goods?
Here we can’t help but recognize our ignorance of God’s plan. A rather striking illustration is the request St. Zélie Martin made at Lourdes. “This year, I will go again to the Blessed Virgin early in the morning,” she wrote to Pauline a year and a half before her death. “I want to be the first to arrive; I will give her my candle as usual, but I will not ask her for more little girls; I will only pray that those he has given me will all be saints, and that I will follow them closely.”
“For those of us who know the end of the story, how impressive it is to see how much the good Lord listened to her prayer … Didn’t he literally answer her?” asks Benedict Delelis, who writes about spiritual consolation. “Yes, astonishingly, the Blessed Virgin did not grant Zélie her wish by healing her. But the good God, by seeming not to give her what she was imploring so legitimately, was preparing for the fulfillment of her dearest wish, drawing from her sacrifice the fruit of holiness – fullness of love – for her, and for all those she loved.”
5Aiming for holiness for your children
“I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 Jn 4)
Sometimes little things are not little in our eyes, but rather take on great importance for us. St. John invites us to rejoice when our children do what is truly essential, that is, “walking in the truth.” Suddenly, questions about the direction and future of our children take on a whole new meaning. Is it not essential that they walk on the path of holiness, rather than go to such-and-such a school or get a job in such-and-such a profession?
“Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Col 3:13)
Conflict is exhausting, and peace is restful. So why not seek peace with the people around us – our children, our spouse, our loved ones? Indeed, reconciliation implies forgiving the harm caused or the wound inflicted. But St. Paul urges us to take the first step, like Christ who forgave us first.
“The world needs forgiveness. Too many people live locked up in resentment and hatred, unable to forgive, poisoning their lives and the lives of others instead of seeking the joy of serenity and peace,” said Pope Francis in 2016 during a visit to Assisi.