Emily Jaminet considers how mothers are called to be peacemakers in their domestic church, the Church, and the world.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred, let me sow love. (Prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi)
These powerful words of the go hand in hand with St. Francis of Assisi's mission to rebuild the Church. Now 800 years later, we are still called to rebuild the Church and sow love. The difference between now and then, is that now we can look back on history and see the impact the saints had on not only the Church, but all of society. For we can look back through time and see that one remarkable saint is like a breath of fresh air and a gift for generations to come. This inspiration can remind us of what is possible when we seek to live out the Scripture, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Jesus is inviting all of us to live out this mission of rebuilding, strengthening, interceding to God, and loving others. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. Jesus invites us to share our gifts and talents with others to help build the Kingdom of God.
As Catholic parents, we need to embrace our Domestic Church, our local parish community, and reform society as a whole through sowing love and peace. For us Catholic women, now is the time for us to be peacemakers and rebuilders of everything authentic, excellent, and beautiful. “See, upon the palms of my hands I have engraved you” (Isaiah 49:16). God knows us and we must recall that He has engraved us in His hands. He loves us and holds us much like we hold our small children with as much love and tenderness as we can. If we know that our Lord is there to help us and hold us, it is much easier to step out and seek to build up the Kingdom of God. What can you do to share your talents with those in need?
Jesus invites us to be holy vessels that the Lord uses for His kingdom. St. Paul is an excellent example of a humble leader who had a significant impact on society. We read in Galatians 2:20, "Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me." Jesus invites us to live no longer for our own will but to live for Jesus' will out in our lives. We are invited to reform society through serving on behalf of Christ.
The role of a mother is where we can have the most significant personal impact on our family, and yet, the role as a leader or a worker is where we can help steer society at large. They can co-exist and are not either/or but rather both/and! As mothers and wives, we are called to teach and role model to our husband and children how to be peacemakers, problem solvers, and love to all, because Christ first loved us.
I have found that being a peacemaker is very difficult as a mother. What does peace in the family look like? We might be very peaceful on vacation, since our main goal is to relax and recharge for our daily grind, but our day-to-day life can be very different. I need to find a great balance between work and rest, prayer and action, and inspire my family to do the same. The key to the prayer of St. Francis is that it is an invitation to grow and improve in many areas of our life. Such ways of improvement can be growing in patience, listening, speaking truth to others, and standing firm in our faith. Most importantly, we are most like Christ when we sow love when we have moments that are challenging.
I can tell you from firsthand experience with those who work hard to live out the Gospels: they do not fly the flag of surrender to the enemy and give up before the battle even begins. Rather the peacemakers are those who seek to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven here and now, day in and day out, with eternity always in their heart and on their mind. Christian peacemakers need to be rooted in prayer and act in love to bring about the Kingdom of Peace to others. Peacemakers listen, love, react, respond, and seek to make the world a better place, not through acts rooted in anger and violence, but in love. When we are peacemakers, we are people who strive to be like Jesus.
In a time of so much division, we need the Holy Spirit to set us on fire to become peacemakers, collaborators, intercessors, leaders, and instruments of the Holy Spirit. What dream is the Holy Spirit forming in your heart to help others and help be part of the solution both inside our homes and outside? Raise up peacemakers and leaders for the next generation that will need these men and women to be catalysts of change.
The complete prayer, as shared on EWTN.org:
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace,
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
that where there is wrong,
I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
that where there is error, I may bring truth;
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.
Copyright 2020 Emily Jaminet
Image by Iuliyan Metodiev, Pexels (2019)
About the Author
Emily Jaminet and her husband have 7 children. Jaminet is the Executive Director of Sacred Heart Enthronement Network, WelcomeHisHeart.com, shares "A Mother's Moment," a daily radio reflection, a podcast host and radio personality. She is the co-author of Divine Mercy For Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina and The Friendship Project, Pray Fully, Our Friend Faustina, and her most recent book Secrets of the Sacred Heart. You can read more of Emily’s work at EmilyJaminet.com or InspireTheFaith.com.