Thursday, March 27, 2014

We're Doin' Buidness - and The Business of Purgatory

Yesterday, the boys were on top of their game.  Plus, they had "lotsa work to do."  So, I went to get John Paul up from his nap and left them to their work.
He usually wakes up fairly happy and as soon as I ask, "How is my sweet baby?" he rattles off a stream of unending babble like he's just told me everything he dreamed of and what he's ready to do now.  Then he typically kisses the picture of Pope John Paul II in the hallway and the one of Mary in the living room and is ready for his juice!
I got his juice and then headed into the playroom where I heard the boys but didn't see them until this one popped up...

Balloons in hand, they were very busy sword fighting.  Then, the other one popped up for a look at what was going on outside their castle.
I was quickly told that they "couldn't look (ie, put the camera away)" because they were "doin' buidness."

This little guy didn't mind the camera though.

I bet they were behind that loveseat for thirty minutes.  Equipped with their hammers,


and calibrators, the world was theirs!

And, this one was content playing with everything else.
Watching them play together, so calmly and lovingly, while I did nothing more than simply be with them, reminded me of what I'm reading.  

I'm in the middle of reading a book on Purgatory.  I'm reading it at night which might not be the best thing for me.  It scares me to death.  I know it shouldn't.  I know it's a sign of God's tremendous mercy.  However, it's coupled with his unwavering justice.  In this particular book, I'm reading the section on God's justice first and the need to atone for our sins.  The stories mentioned are mainly about the religious, be it nuns, monks or priests.  At first one might think, "Oh whew, that's not me - I'm not held to those standards."  Yet, to see the agony they experience in their purification should serve as a kick in the pants.  No, I'm not a religious.  But, I've been called to something else, with its own set of standards yet a common love and serve God all the days of my life.

I look at my days, and there are times I'm "just too tired" to do much more than get by.  There are days when I "really needed someone to know about what someone else did in order that they are not burned, too" aka justification for gossip.  There are days when I'm not much of a mother, much less a wife - the two vocations I've been called to.  And, more often than not, my prayers are on-the-go or those that come of immediate necessity.  My sins are slight (or so I tell myself, so I don't go to Confession as often as I should). My fascination with material things justified by just "not wanting to spend money on things that won't last as long" (ie, my argument for buying the nicer things) never ends.  Then there's the desire to "love at a distance" those people in my life who I find hard to love - a way in which I can love them without much effort or without being hurt again.  What about the need for my own time - time writing this blog, browsing the net, exercising or keeping in touch with others at the expense of being a better mom to the little ones. Note: I'm not saying taking time for yourself in order to keep your sanity is a bad thing, but sometimes I abuse it.

Then I think of the poor, the lonely, the imprisoned - all of those we're supposed to bring Jesus to - that fits neatly into my category of giving alms to the Church in order that they do what they see fit.  I'm not in the trenches but rather sitting neatly in my home.  

Basically, the book has caused me to think.  A lot.  And while I know the idea of Purgatory isn't something everyone believes in, I do.  Wholeheartedly.  And, I want to get to a point where I'm living my life more for Christ...out of love and desire to put Him first more than out of fear of His justice.

Some people say that as a mother, raising children can be a form of working out your salvation.  Maybe so. More than that, right now, I think they are an opportunity for us to see the world as God wishes us to and to act as if we are seeing it that way for the very first time, over and over again.  They aren't worried about what tag their clothes bear or who wronged them this morning.  They are hurt and quickly forgive.  They love and just want to be loved in return.  They are excited, even more than just about a new toy, but about each of life's moments.  They radiate joy (most days), and not much matters.

Looking at them, as a mom, is a tiny glimpse of how our Father must see us.  He doesn't want us to hurt.  He wants us to follow the rules.  He loves us so much its incomprehensible.  Yet, the rules are there for our good, and when broken, the consequences come...all in the name of mercy.  

We have but a small amount of time when they're still little.  They have so much to teach us from behind those loveseats as they're doin' buidness.  If only we take the moments to learn.  So, as I continue on with this book, my prayer is that my outlook on life becomes more like theirs and that love takes a much deeper rooted place in my heart.  That I can see those heads popping up from behind their "castles" and be reminded of my love and serve Him (as a wife and mother) in every way throughout my days, and to teach them to do the same. Nothing more, but definitely nothing less.


  1. That picture of your youngest smiling at the camera is too much. That face.

    And what book? It sounds really interesting. Being a Catholic convert I don't feel like I know much about purgatory (completely new concept). But I do believe in it and could learn more I think.

  2. Beautiful pictures of your boys! I want to know what book you're reading, too. And let me take a second to say I think I have a book problem...I have have stack of review books nearly three feet high and yet I always seem to be either looking for or buying new books. So please, enable my book problem and share the title. LOL!

  3. Beautiful reflection, and beautiful photos!

    I'm with the others... What exactly are you reading??

  4. What beautiful boys, and a wonderful post! That book sounds fasinating! I've been reading Devine Intimacy, and this week it is all about dying to self. It has got me thinking too how I need to love and serve Him more and let go of all of those things that clutter up my life with nothing! It is a challenge that is for sure!

  5. This is beautiful, Britt. Absolutely beautiful. I love you!

  6. What a great post, so honest and beautiful! And with all these pictures, just so great. Hope to hear more as you continue reading.

  7. I really want to read that book--sounds very interesting!! I'm currently reading Rediscover Catholicism as part of my Lenten journey. Have you read it?? They gave it out at churches a couple years ago and I have been determined to read it! It's really great!

    Ps your kiddos?! Absolutely adorable!!

    Happy Friday!

    1. You should check it out sometime! That book is on my shelf, but like many others, I haven't read it yet! But, now that I hear such a great review, I'll have to pick it up!

      thank you so much! PS, I cannot wait to hear the news of your newest! Such a cute sono pic!!

  8. Everything about this post makes me well up with tears. " They have so much to teach us from behind those loveseats as they're doin' buidness. If only we take the moments to learn. " This is so beautiful in so many ways. You're working out your sanctity, and you are bringing the rest of us along! Love you so much!

  9. Oh, I just love those sweet baby cheeks! What sweet boys.

    And what beautiful thoughts Britt, I think we are working out our salvation every day, but there are so many missed opportunities as I complain about cleaning something up, or losing my patience. There are so many times to love when you're a mom!