Revisiting her resolution to practice justice, Kelly Guest is grateful to God for showing her another way to look at this cardinal virtue.
We are halfway through the year So, how are those resolutions you made when the year was new going? Are you rocking it, or did you give up? Maybe you aren’t rocking it, but nonetheless continuing the struggle. It could be that God gave you something else to work on. Or, as in my case, perhaps He gave another way to look at the resolution.
As I explained in my January post, “No New Year’s Resolution for Me,” I do not typically make resolutions. Instead, I choose a virtue to work on throughout the year. This year, inspired by Micah 2:7, “Do not my words promise good to the one who walks in justice?”, I decided to mindfully practice the cardinal virtue of justice.
I pictured myself performing more works of mercy, looking for big and small ways to be able to accomplish these charitable acts.
Then, not even four weeks into 2023, my father passed away. Burying and praying for the dead became the corporal and spiritual works into which I was immersed.
Furthermore, my mom, whose health has always been frail (though she herself has always been strong), required a lot of our attention and help. My siblings and I had to move her out of the house my parents built and have lived in since 1976. We became absorbed in helping her situate to her new surroundings in the midst of her great grief and failing health.
I felt like I was neglecting my family, as my children had to step up and make dinners and transport younger siblings to after school activities. I wasn’t able to give work 100%, which means my coworkers had to be patient with me. And a few times, I had to miss some of the volunteer work I do, causing others to fill in or do extra work when I couldn’t be there.
This did not seem like justice to me.
I haven’t even been writing—something I love to do and that my father always encouraged me to do. I just have not had the time, nor felt the inspiration. I write to encourage and inspire you. How can I give what I do not have? To pretend did not feel just either.
As a mom, a daughter, an employee, a volunteer, a friend, and a writer, I want to give my all. My faith requires my all, doesn’t it? Am I not to imitate Jesus who gave us His all?
Then the Holy Spirit reminded me: when Jesus was carrying His cross, He needed help. It is OK to need help. After all, God chose to need our help!
The virtue of justice is practiced, among other ways, by treating others with respect, kindness, and love. God wanted me to know that justice is a two-way street—it is not only doing for others but letting them do for you. Allowing friends and family members to receive the graces by cheerfully and gratefully accepting their help is justice, too.
When my daughter makes dinner for the family, she receives graces. When my son takes his little brother to baseball practice, he receives graces. When a friend cleans the pregnancy center without me, she receives double graces. I should not begrudge them these graces. I ought not feel bad that they were given the opportunity to grow in charity. They are helping me in the best way they can to carry my cross. Gratitude is a part of justice.
Moms, we don’t always have to be the ones doing. It is ok to let others do for us once in a while, especially when we need the help. Permit them to bless you. Justice says share the graces!
In what way has someone blessed you lately? Remember to say a prayer of thanksgiving for them. It is right and just.
Copyright 2023 Kelly Guest
About the Author
Kelly Guest was blessed to be a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia for five years. There she received the many graces she draws upon today as a wife and mother of nine children. Wishing to share with other moms encouragement on our quest to become holy through motherhood, she blogs at Nun2Nine.com and CatholicMom.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram @nun2nine. Kelly's book, Saintly Moms: 25 Stories of Holiness, is due out October 1, 2021.