Thursday, July 07, 2005

Doing the ordinary tasks of each day

Robin from Texas left a wonderful comment on the post below about action and feelings. I'd like to post it as its own entry to draw more attention to it:

"I have always hated domestic work, especially cooking and cleaning the kitchen. The kitchen is where I most felt like an unappreciated martyr. I started by bringing it to the confessional, and that helped some. But the greatest graces came when I offered up cooking more often and focussing on the kitchen for my lenten offerings. I began by placing a Crucifix on the window above the sink, so that whenever I felt like a martyr, I would remember what Jesus did for me. My husband tells me my kitchen is turning into a church, but he doesn't complain about the meals and cleanliness there now. As for me, I really enjoy cooking and cleaning for my family now--I offer a lot of it up for them and feel joyfully buoyant doing it! As for the idea of acting our way into feelings, I think that this is why we talk about love being an act of the will. Too many people divorce when the feeling of love first deserts us. They never make it to the stage where you have to think about why you first loved your spouse, and then take the initiative to treat him with the same joyful, loving spirit you did in the beginning, even if the feeling isn't yet there. Nagging and complaining will never bring the love back, but loving him usually will. The fact that the love is greater and stronger than ever is something too few couples realize anymore. God is good and blesses us when we live by His Laws."

Thanks, Robin, for this great insight.


Joanne said...

Interesting insight. I think that you eventually get to the point where caring for a household can become all too much of a burden, so you do have to re-examine it and discover the WHY for all the scrubbing and food prep and folding of laundry.

In middle age, where I have been battling with a series of disappointments and episodes of despair, I keep pulling myself along by reminding myself to set my course and steer my little ship hard toward joy and hope. It's either that or get swept away by the black currents, I think.

Attraction and desire are the part of love that can disappear, but I do think the true and lasting love becomes an act of will at some point in every relationship. It's harder nowadays because there are so many people eager to give the wrong advice about leaving a relationship to pursue your own happiness and fulfillment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I thought it was great. Unfortunately, we live in a world where emotions rule. People talk about gay marriage ruining society, but I actually think that straight, relgious people have done more to hurt marriage than anyone. If thinks get too hard to work out, just get a divorce. You can probably get an anullment anyway, right? Don't get me wrong, as a daughter of the Church I accept the teachings on annulment. A lot of people get them, though. And I wonder if it is a case of the Lord allowing so many to go through because "our hearts were hard."

Anonymous said...

I have this on a card tucked in the window over my kitchen sink:

"Lord of all pots and pans and things. . . make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates." - Brother Lawrence

Even in our small daily chores we do the work of our Lord.