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Charisse Tierney shares four mom-friendly ways to grow in holiness through genuine sacrifice.

For me as a mom, the idea of sacrificing more during Lent can feel bewildering. Lent can feel like a season when I am obligated to figure out what to give up when I feel like I already give up so much.

We are all different. We are all called to different types of sacrifice. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says, “It is right to offer sacrifice to God as a sign of adoration and gratitude, supplication and communion.” St. Augustine is then quoted: “Every action done so as to cling to God in communion of holiness, and thus achieve blessedness, is a true sacrifice" (2099).

As moms, our focus should be not on the perceived obligations of the season, but on the disposition of our hearts. Changing a diaper cheerfully can become an act of mercy. Forcing yourself to become alert and attentive when your teen wants to talk at eleven o’clock at night makes God’s heart glad. Replacing a sarcastic remark with a smile as you enforce chore assignments shapes you into a saint. As the Catechism says, these all become genuine sacrifices because they are “from the heart” and “coupled with love of neighbor.”


little boy vaulting over couch next to tired dad and exasperated mom


If the intensity of your vocation leaves you struggling to embrace the practices of Lent, here are four mom-friendly ways to grow in holiness through genuine sacrifice:


Keep it small

Jesus Himself lived a life of small sacrifices. He gave up sleep and postponed meals to heal and preach. He spoke patiently to His followers, even when they didn’t understand him or agree with Him. Imitating Jesus doesn’t always mean making a grand gesture. Think of something small you can do each day that no one will notice except God. Pause to turn your heart toward Him as you skip the butter on your bread. Read a passage from your Bible instead of scrolling social media. Whisper a short prayer for someone when you leave the creamer out of your afternoon cup of coffee.


Live your vocation more fully

Maybe this Lent is when you can finally start a nighttime prayer routine with your kids, or create a home altar, or put the dates on the calendar when you will all go to Confession as a family in the upcoming months. Ponder how God is calling you to grow in holiness through your interactions with your children and husband.


Cheerfully acknowledge your regular sacrifices

Don’t sigh as you haul another load of laundry up the stairs. Turn to your child with a smile when you get interrupted for the umpteenth time. Offer God your frustration when the day’s schedule gets turned upside down with unexpected errands and carpools.


Offer God your blessings

We can give back to God through our blessings as well as through our dying to self. If you are suddenly gifted with some extra quiet time from your children, spend some of that time in prayer. If an unexpected financial gift comes your way, give some to your parish or favorite charity before going on a shopping spree or planning a weekend getaway. Take the time to notice those little pearls of beautiful moments that God drops into your day—and pause to thank Him for them. When we recognize the abundance of what we have, we feel like we have more to give. And, rather than feeling like a painful obligation, sacrifice flows from us in an expression of love.

The only perfect sacrifice is the one that Christ offered on the cross as a total offering to the Father’s love and for our salvation. By uniting ourselves with his sacrifice we can make our lives a sacrifice to God. (CCC 2100)


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Does the intensity of your vocation leaves you struggling to embrace the practices of Lent? #catholicmom

As moms, we do so much. We’ve repeatedly given our bodies, minds, and souls for the welfare of our children. We’ve done it so many times that it becomes a way of life. But we can remember to recognize those small sacrifices for what they are. If we can carry them out with a gentle and compassionate demeanor, those small sacrifices become heroic sacrifices. And they place us at the foot of the cross where we become a living sacrifice for the One who gave everything for us.

Copyright 2022 Charisse Tierney
Image: Canva Pro